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An Easy Grammar of Sanskrit

An Easy Grammar of Sanskrit
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Item Code: NAK030
Author: Prof. S. B. Datar
Publisher: Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789383804481
Pages: 272
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
weight of the book: 255 gms

It was in 1864 A.D. that sir R.G.Bhandarkar wrote the grammar book of Sanskrit in English. That was the first book of its kind at least in Maharashtra. Thereafter many scholars like shri M.R. Kale, S.K. Bhat, V.V. Bokil, K.B. Virkar, R.G. Borwankar, K.N. Watve, K.D.Rajguru and R.D. Desai have written books of Sanskrit grammar in English or Marathi or both. So a question arises as to the propriety of writing ONE MORE book of Sanskrit grammar. It is therefore necessary to explain the purpose of newly writing such a book. The various reasons on account of which I thought of writing this book may be detailed as below-

1) Most of the books written by the eminent scholars mentioned above, are not available in the market today. They may be found in the libraries of some old educational institutes, or in the private collection of lovers of Sanskrit; but at any rate, they are not available to the current students of Sanskrit today.

2) Even if they were available, they would not satisfy the needs of the current students on many grounds. Firstly, most of these books were written when Sanskrit was taught for four years from std. VIII to std. XI in the older patterns of Matriculation or early S.S.C. Examinations. Later on the courses of S.S.C and the equivalent examinations were reduced to ten years in accordance with the 10+2+3 years formula and only three years were left for teaching Sanskrit. As a result the syllabus of Sanskrit was also proportionately curtailed. Many topics in the grammar of Sanskrit like 'Internal Sandhis', ' Rukles of Reduplication,' 'Formation bases', 'The distinction among the set, Wet and Anit roots', 'Aorist Tense' (with all its seven varieties), The First Future Tense', 'Benedictive and Conditional Moods' and 'Future Tense', 'Benedictive and Conditional Moods' and 'Frequentative Verbs' ceased to be a part of the Sanskrit syllabus for schools. Consequently the books containing the discussion of such topics became outdated and practically obsolete for the current course of Sanskrit. It became, therefore, necessary to write a new book, which would cater to the exact needs and demands of the new students learning Sanskrit from Std. VIII to XII

3) According to the science of education, there are two cardinal principles which ought to be followed while teaching a new subject. They are "From Simple to Difficult" and "From Known to Unknown". I regret to maintain that most of these books (barring very few), do not appear to have followed these principles. I have consciously tried to implement them in my book. From this point of view, some features of my book may be stated as follows-

a. Grammar of Sanskrit language is compared to grammar of English whenever such a comparison would be found useful to understand the differences between the structures of the languages.
b. An attempt is made to explain the rules of grammar in simple words and better style than in the technical jargon.
c. Charts and tables are provided wherever they are useful in making the understanding of the topic easier.
d. Every rule of grammar is supplemented with suitable examples within the range of understanding of the students.
e. A variety of exercises are given at the end of every chapter, which would ensure the grasp of the matter in the chapter.
f. Answers to the short and objective questions in these exercises are also provided towards the end of the book.
g. In Appendix I, brief information of topics is given which are not included in the syllabus, but are useful for a better comprehension of Sanskrit passages occurring in the higher study of the language.
h. A few specific features of Sanskrit language are discussed in Appendix II.
i. Readymade important forms of 312 important roots are furnished in Appendix III.
I have been teaching Sanskrit to students of std. VIII to std. XII for over thirty years. I found to my dismay that there are very few or no books at present in the market for the guidance of Student studying Sanskrit in English-medium institutes. It is mainly in order to help these students learn Sanskrit with ease, that I decided to write this book. And as I have indicated earlier, I have not burdened the students with details, that are not necessary for them. Obviusly this book is not meant for Sanskrit scholars. Hence hair-splitting subtle discussions of moot topics and points in Sanskrit grammar will not be found in this book. If ordinary students, their guardians and teachers, desirous of guiding them in learning Sanskrit, and individuals desirous of studying them in learning Sanskrit, and individuals desirous of studying Sanskrit on their own find this book useful, the purpose of writing this book can be said to have been served.

I would like to invite the attention of the readers in general and the scholars in particular to the following points, which, I think, I have thought of, for the first time-

I have written this book on the basis of whatever knowledge of Sanskrit language and literature I got in the course of my learning and teaching. I studied Sanskrit in a method normally followed in schools and colleges. I did not have the opportunity of learning it in institutes like 'Sanskrit Pathashalas' which are specialized Kaumudi of Bhattoji Dixit'. Hence I had to get my writing examined by some expert scholar of Sanskrit grammar. This task was assiduously executed by none other than the noted Sanskrit grammarian of today, Dr. Malhar Kulkarni. He made a close scrutiny of the text and made many valuable suggestions. I am greatly indebted to him.

I developed a liking for Sanskrit while listening to the recitation of Vedic hymns by my grandfather, the late Shri. S.K.Deodhar. later on I received the formal lessons in Sanskrit through my teachers at different levels of School and college. They include Shri. V.K.Sathe, S.G.Vashta, Prof. D.R.Page, Prof. M.V.Mahashabde, Dr.M.D.Paradkar and Dr.S.A. Upadhyay. My deep htanks are due to them all. At the same time I must make a mention of hundreds of my students, while teaching whom, I went on becoming more and more conversant with Sanskrit went on becoming more and more conversant with Sanskrit grammar. In this sense they also deserve to be called my indirect Gurus. They also deserve my thanks.

I am extremely thankful to the "Dhawale Prakashan" for undertaking the publication of this book in such times, as are not particularly the publication of this book in such times, as are not particularly favourable for Sanskrit. I must thank Shri. Ajay Gokhale, for the typesetting of this book. It was indeed a difficult ask, for it involved typing in Roman and Devnagari Scripts almost simultaneously.

I thank my artist-friend Shri Ravikant Phadke for drawing the Venn diagrams in my book. I also thank Prof. R.G.Gite, the renowned scholar of Sanskrit, and my friends Shri. Y.D. Joshi and Prof. M.M.Sayaneker, for clearing my doubts about the choice of exact wording in Sanskrit and English, suitable for the topic.

I am short of words while duly thanking Shri. Vinayak Sapre, who gave the finishing shape to the work in its very final stages. Without his final touches, I don't know how long the book would have taken to adopt its printable form.

I must make a special mention of my selfless friend, Shri. S.G.Khambete, without whose constant inspiration and pursuit this book would not have seen the light of this day. He designed the format of the book also, in spite of his multifarious activities.

I have reserved my most hearty thanks to the internationally renowned scholars of Sanskrit, Dr. Ashok Aklujkar, and Dr. Malhar Kulkarni for their Foreword and not in favour of adding forewords to books and he does not seek them for his books, he made an exception in my case and accepted my request to contribute a foreword. I am indebted to both of them.

In the end, I earnestly request all students, readers and scholars to read this book thoroughly, point out the mistakes therein, if any, and make suggestion for its improvement. I shall always remains thankful to them.



University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada "Sanskrit" stands for a beautiful language and literature. Its sounds are so finely diverse that an early exposure to them alone can strengthen a child's capability for aural perception and mastering of the sound distinctions in other languages. The precision of its words further enhances the capability for analysis in terms of number, gender and grammatical roles performed within a sentence. The freedom of word order witnessed in it further assists in the development of alertness toward signals received and, through that development of alertness toward signals received and, through that development, bestows a higher ability on the learner (and seasoned user) to handle code-switching, which is of vital importance for living in a linguistically diverse community and for the living in a linguistically diverse community and for the growth of intelligence (which is basically an ability to detect patterns and to adjust to them).

This innate potential of Sanskrit was astutely and beautifully highlighted by the ancient Indian grammarians. PaNini, his predecessors and his successors developed a grammatical tradition which is not only unparalleled in terms of its accuracy and comprehensiveness, but also has cultivated a computer-like operation (a string of signs S-1 leads to string S-2, and so forth). As a result, Sanskrit was blessed with a grammar the like of which no other language has so far been able to claim. Furthermore, the experience of learning Sanskrit became a complementation of the acquisition of such basic skills as mathematics, logic and music, which any educational system worth the name is expected to impart to a child.

Sanskrit literature gave rise to very impressive and distinctive bodies of (literature of knowledge) and (literature of power). This literature maintained a particularly close relationship with grammar. It made the study of grammar enjoyable as it was enriched by the strengths of grammar preserved in the educational system. A Dugdha-Shakara Samyoga of exquisite flavour and a Suvarna- Sugandha Samyoga of unparalleled aesthetic experience occurred.

It is unfortunate that some educationists have instituted policies which are based on the assumption that languages can be learned well without Grammar or that Grammar is a relatively superficial part of education. The assumption is based on a very limited experience (as against the thousands of years of experience in the pre-modern Indian education system) and a narrow view of the level of basic skills to which education should lead. Not only the teaching of grammar needs to be retained, it needs to be strengthened and made enjoyable, especially through the use of technology with which we are now blessed (if handled judiciously)

Professor S. B. Datar's An Easy Grammar of Sanskrit is thus a welcome publication. Practical considerations, as distinct from the philosophical and historical ones I have stated above, make the publication highly welcome. These practical considerations have been stated simply and adequately in Prof. Datar's Preface. I should not use the present space to restate them. Suffice it to say that Prof. Datar has rightly spotted a need and tried to meet it insightfully. In addition to many years of teaching experience, he has to his credit the knowledge of how one becomes and effective teacher ('from simple to difficult' and 'from the familiar to the unfamiliar'). He is also well acquainted with the earlier publications of similar nature and knows which aspects of them need to be retained and which ones to be set aside. He has sought a compromise between a book that will be of general use in making an interested person capable of reading much of the popular Sanskrit literature. His frankness in expressing the limits of his own learning is rightly accompanied by an effort to make up for the limits by seeking the guidance of specialists. Above all, he has what every author of a book should have: pession for the subject matter. May this quality assert itself also in the users of this fruit of his labours!



I feel very much honoured to write a brief introduction to this volume entitled "An easy grammar of Sanskrit for students of ICSE, CBSE and SSC exams and their teachers and guardians" by Prof. S.B.Datar.

I know Prof. Datar since the days when as a personification of thirst of knowledge he used to attend my Astadhyani lectures in Vile Parle. Prof.Datar has vast experience in teaching Sanskrit Grammar to students going to schools affiliated to ICSE, CBSE and SSC Boards and has identified their need in terms of a book that is not overloaded with topics of less relevance and at the same time not overloaded with topics of less relevance and at the same time not under loaded with no authentic base. Prof.Datar's book takes care of both the aspects mentioned above, namely that it is rigorously focused on the selected treatment of topics and at the same time is based firmly on the scientific base in terms of not only Sanskrit Grammar but also Education.

Thus presentation of information in the form of chart is a hallmark of the method of this book. The chart on Adjectives is exhaustive enough and thus really helpful. Same is the case with the chart on Karakas and Vibhaktis. Special mention must be made in this regard of the Appendices added at the end. These appendices provide valuable information in terms of a list of verbal roots with important forms available readymade and the difficult paradigmas and their simple explanation. In the same vein, mention may be made of the Genitive Absolute along with the Locative Absolute in chapter 19 and the method of reading Sanskrit cardinal numbers in chapter 17.

The practical utility of the book is immense for the students as is visible from the section "How to dissolve a compound?" and the section on Karmadharaya compound dealing with a proper and a common noun of the same class as well as nine purposes of the use of Potential. There are some points in the book for which Prof. Datar deserves congratulations as he has shown courage to mention those points which we in our traditional learning learn and teach in the Pathashala but never actually see in the print. Following point is one very good example of what I want to highlight.

This is a very basic fact accessible to any student of traditional Sanskrit and prof.Datar has made it available to the non-traditional school going reader also. Readers must note this very important yet very innocuous looking fact. The other similar points are the strategy provided by Prof. Datar for constructing Sanskrit sentences in chapter 7 and comparison of sentences in English and Sanskrit in Chapter 6.

As far as the presentation of the paradigms are concerned, Prof.Datar has attained brevity, the sacred goal of Panni, by placing the material in such a way that two paradigms can be covered in the space of one.

I must mention that I had a privilege in writing an introduction to Prof.Datar's book on the same subject written in Marathi and I feel equally privileged to write an introduction to patiently bearing with me while I was all the way travelling for the official purposes from one end of our country to another and could not find time to finish writhing this introduction.

'An easy Grammar of Sanskrit'....presents all essential features of Sanskrit grammar in lucid and easy language. The subject matter is explained with necessary exercises and charts and labels are also aptly presented for easy understanding of the topics. No doubt that this book, if published, will be useful to students as well as people interested in the self-study of Sanskrit




  Preface ii
  Foreword vii
  Introduction ix
Chapter 1 The Sanskrit Alphabet 1
Chapter 2 Parts of Sanskrit Speech – Nouns, Pronouns and Adjectives 4
Chapter 3 Parts of Sanskrit speech – Verbs, Indeclinables and Prefixes 14
Chapter 4 Simple Sanskrit Sentences 23
Chapter 5 Declension of Nouns and Pronouns 32
Chapter 6 Expansion of Sentences 46
Chapter 7 Sandhis and their Rules 59
Chapter 8 Imperfect Tense, Imperative Mood, Potential Mood and Second Future Tense 69
Chapter 9 Verb from Roots in the Second Group of conjugations 78
Chapter 10 Gerunds/ Absolutives and Infinitives 88
Chapter 11 Voices in Sanskrit-Active, Passive and Impersonal 94
Chapter 12 Verbal Derivatives 103
Chapter 13 Perfect Tense 117
Chapter 14 Compounds 122
Chapter 15 Compounds 138
Chapter 16 Causal Construction 155
Chapter 17 Numerals 165
Chapter 18 Comparative and Superlative Adjectives 170
Chapter 19 Verbs, Desideratives, Denominatives Locative and Genitive Absolute Constructions and Derivatives 173
Chapter 20 Expectations and usages of Prefixes, Specific Roots and Indeclinables 184
Answers Answers to short and Objective Questions in the Exercises 193
Appendix I Aorist Tense, First Future Tense, Conditional Mood and Benedictive Mood 221
Appendix II Some Special Features of Sanskrit Construction 228
Appendix III Ready Reckoner of Sanskrit Verbal Forms 231
  index 256


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