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नामाष्टशतम् nNs

Today we will look at the form नामाष्टशतम् nNs from महाभारतम् 3.3.14.

जनमेजय उवाच
कथं कुरूणामृषभः स तु राजा युधिष्ठिरः । विप्रार्थमाराधितवान्सूर्यमद्‌भुतदर्शनम् ।। ३-३-१३ ।।
वैशम्पायन उवाच
शृणुष्वावहितो राजञ्शुचिर्भूत्वा समाहितः । क्षणं च कुरु राजेन्द्र सम्प्रवक्ष्याम्यशेषतः ।। ३-३-१४ ।।
धौम्येन तु यथा पूर्वं पार्थाय सुमहात्मने । नामाष्टशतमाख्यातं तच्छृणुष्व महामते ।। ३-३-१४ ।।

Translation – Janamejaya said: For the sake of the Brāhmaṇas, how did that foremost of the Kurus, king Yudhiṣṭhira, worship the Sun of wonderful appearance? (13) Vaiśampāyana said: O king, (first) purify yourself and being composed listen with attention. O king of kings, make some leisure. I shall (then) tell you everything in detail (14). O highly intelligent one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the Sun), as they were told earlier by Dhaumya to the very high-souled Yudhiṣṭhira (son of Pṛthā) (15).

(1) अष्टौ च शतं च = अष्टशतम् – (Eight + hundred =) hundred and eight.

(2) अष्ट जस् + शत सुँ । By 2-2-29 चार्थे द्वन्द्वः – Two or more terms having the designation पदम् and standing in a relation expressible by ‘च’ (‘and’) may optionally compound to yield a compound called द्वन्द्वः।

(3) अष्ट जस् + शत सुँ । Note: Since ‘अष्ट जस्’ denotes a smaller number (compared to ‘शत सुँ’) it is placed in the prior position as per the वार्तिकम् (under 2-2-34 अल्पाच्तरम्‌) सङ्ख्याया अल्पीयस्याः पूर्वनिपातो वक्तव्यः – In a compound the term which denotes a smaller number is placed in the prior position.

Note: ‘अष्ट जस् + शत सुँ’ gets the designation प्रातिपदिकम्‌ by 1-2-46 कृत्तद्धितसमासाश्च। This allows 2-4-71 to apply in the next step.

(4) अष्ट + शत । By 2-4-71 सुपो धातुप्रातिपदिकयोः – A सुँप् affix takes a लुक् elision when it is a part of a धातुः or a प्रातिपदिकम्।

Now the ending letter (‘अ’) of ‘अष्ट’ would be replaced by the letter (‘आ’) as per the सूत्रम् 6-3-47 द्व्यष्टनः संख्यायामबहुव्रीह्यशीत्योः – When followed by the final member of a compound, (the final letter of) the term ‘द्वि’ as well as ‘अष्टन्’ takes the substitution ‘आ’ provided the compound is not a बहुव्रीहि: compound and the final member of the compound denotes a number other than ‘अशीति’।
But this operation is blocked by the following वार्तिकम् –

(5) अष्टशत । वार्तिकम् – प्राक् शतादिति वक्तव्यम् – The substitution ‘आ’ (in place of ‘द्वि’/’अष्टन्’) prescribed by the सूत्रम् 6-3-47 as well as the substitution ‘त्रयस्’ (in place of ‘त्रि’) prescribed by the सूत्रम् 6-3-48 is restricted to those compounds whose final members denote numbers less than a hundred. Hence the substitution does not apply in the present example.

(6) Now we form the षष्ठी-तत्पुरुषः compound नाम्नामष्टशतम् = नामाष्टशतम्  – hundred and eight of names.

अलौकिक-विग्रह: –
(7) नामन् आम् + अष्टशत सुँ । By 2-2-8 षष्ठी – A पदम् ending in a sixth case affix optionally compounds with a (syntactically related) पदम् ending in a सुँप् affix and the resulting compound gets the designation तत्पुरुष:।

(8) By 1-2-43 प्रथमानिर्दिष्टं समास उपसर्जनम् – the term ‘नामन् आम्’ gets the designation उपसर्जनम् because in the सूत्रम् 2-2-8 (which prescribes the compounding) the term षष्ठी ends in the nominative case. Hence ‘नामन् आम्’ is placed in the prior position in the compound as per the सूत्रम् 2-2-30 उपसर्जनं पूर्वम्‌ – In a compound a term which has the designation ‘उपसर्जन’ should be placed in the prior position.

Note: ‘नामन् आम् + अष्टशत सुँ’ gets the designation प्रातिपदिकम्‌ by 1-2-46 कृत्तद्धितसमासाश्च। This allows 2-4-71 to apply in the next step.

(9) नामन् + अष्टशत । By 2-4-71 सुपो धातुप्रातिपदिकयोः – A सुँप् affix takes a लुक् elision when it is a part of a धातुः or a प्रातिपदिकम्।
Note: Now ‘नामन्’ gets the designation पदम् by 1-4-14 सुप्तिङन्तं पदम् with the help of 1-1-62 प्रत्ययलोपे प्रत्ययलक्षणम्। This allows the सूत्रम् 8-2-7 to apply in the next step.

(10) नाम + अष्टशत । By 8-2-7 नलोपः प्रातिपदिकान्तस्य – The ending letter ‘न्’ of a पदम् is dropped when the पदम् also has the designation प्रातिपदिकम्।

Now as per 8-2-1 पूर्वत्रासिद्धम्, this elision of the letter ‘न्’ (done by 8-2-7 नलोपः प्रातिपदिकान्तस्य) to arrive at the form ‘नाम’ should not be visible to any prior rule (in the अष्टाध्यायी)। But 8-2-2 नलोपः सुप्स्वरसंज्ञातुग्विधिषु कृति limits the authority of 8-2-1 and says that the elision of the letter ‘न्’ (done by 8-2-7) is not visible only to those rules that are in the four categories mentioned below – others do see the elision of the letter ‘न्’।
The four categories are:
1. सुँब्विधौ – rules relating to सुँप् affixes
2. स्वरविधौ – rules relating to accents (in the वेद:)
3. सञ्ज्ञाविधौ – rules that give names or designations
4. कृति तुँग्विधौ – rules that prescribe a तुँक् augment in connection with a कृत् affix.

(11) Since 6-1-101 अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः does not fall in any of the above four categories, it does see the elision of the letter ‘न्’ and hence applies to give नाम + अष्टशत = नामाष्टशत। (This would not have been possible if we did not have 8-2-2 नलोपः सुप्स्वरसंज्ञातुग्विधिषु कृति limiting the application of 8-2-1 पूर्वत्रासिद्धम्)।

Note: As a convention in the language, the number शतम् (hundred) – as well as compound numbers (like अष्टशतम्) ending in शतम् – are always used in the neuter (even when they’re adjectives to non-neuter terms.) They are used in the singular except (as in the present example) when used as just numbers (not adjectives) they may be used in the dual/plural also.
For example – शतं नरा: = hundred men, शतं नार्य: = hundred women, शतं कुटुम्बानि = hundred families. (नराणां/नारीणां/कुटुम्बानां) शतम् = hundred (of men/women/families), (नराणां/नारीणां/कुटुम्बानां) द्वे शते = two hundred (of men/women/families), (नराणां/नारीणां/कुटुम्बानां) त्रीणि शतानि = three hundred (of men/women/families) etc.

As per the सूत्रम् 2-4-26 परवल्लिङ्गं द्वन्द्वतत्पुरुषयोः, the द्वन्द्वः compound प्रातिपदिकम् ‘अष्टशत’ is neuter since the final member ‘शत’ of the compound is neuter. Similarly, the तत्पुरुषः compound (नामाष्टशत) is neuter since the final member ‘अष्टशत’ of the compound is neuter.

The विवक्षा is प्रथमा-एकवचनम् ।

(12) नामाष्टशत + सुँ । By 4-1-2 स्वौजसमौट्छष्टाभ्याम्भिस्ङेभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसिभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसोसाम्ङ्योस्सुप्‌

(13) नामाष्टशत + अम् । By 7-1-24 अतोऽम् – The affixes ‘सुँ’ and ‘अम्’ that follow a neuter अङ्गम् ending in the short vowel ‘अ’ take ‘अम्’ as their replacement.
1-3-4 न विभक्तौ तुस्माः prevents the ending letter ‘म्’ of the affix ‘अम्’ from getting इत्-सञ्ज्ञा।

(14) नामाष्टशतम् । By 6-1-107 अमि पूर्वः – In place of a preceding अक् letter and the following vowel (अच्) belonging to the affix ‘अम्’ there is a single substitute of that preceding अक् letter.


1. In which other compound (besides नामाष्टशतम्) used in the verses does the सूत्रम् 8-2-2 नलोपः सुप्स्वरसंज्ञातुग्विधिषु कृति find application?

2. In which word in the verses has the कृत् affix खश् been used?

3. What type of compound is अद्‌भुतदर्शनम् as used in the verses?
i. द्वन्द्व:
ii. कर्मधारय:
iii. बहुव्रीहि:
iv. षष्ठी-तत्पुरुष:

4. From which verbal root are the forms अवहितः and समाहितः derived?

5. Which सूत्रम् blocks the augment इट् in the form भूत्वा?

6. How would you say this in Sanskrit?
“One should recite with devotion the hundred and eight names of Lord Viṣṇu everyday.”

Easy questions:

1. Which सूत्रम् prescribes the substitution ‘व’ in the form शृणुष्व?

2. Where has the सूत्रम् 6-4-106 उतश्च प्रत्ययादसंयोगपूर्वात्‌ been used in the verses?

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