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नलम् mAs

Today we will look at the form नलम् mAs from श्रीमद्-वाल्मीकि-रामायणम् 1.1.80.

ततः सुग्रीवसहितो गत्वा तीरं महोदधेः । समुद्रं क्षोभयामास शरैरादित्यसंनिभैः ।। १-१-७९ ।।
दर्शयामास चात्मानं समुद्रः सरितां पतिः । समुद्रवचनाच्चैव नलं सेतुमकारयत् ।। १-१-८० ।।

Gita Press translation – Moving to the shore of the (Indian) ocean (in the extreme south,) accompanied by Sugrīva, Śrī Rāma then shook the ocean to its lowest depths (in Pātāla, the nethermost subterranean plane) by his arrows glorious as the sun (on the latter refusing to allow pasage to the army of monkeys, that sought to march across it in order to reach Laṅkā in their bid to recover Sītā) (79). (At this) Ocean, the lord of the rivers, not only revealed himself (in person to Śrī Rāma) but also apologized to him (for his refractoriness) and only at the intercession of Ocean Śrī Rāma caused Nala to build a bridge (across the sea) (80).

Note: The above verses have been discussed in detail in the Saturday Ramayanam class #22, recorded on Dec 11th 2010 Video

नलम् is द्वितीया-एकवचनम् of the पुंलिङ्ग-प्रातिपदिकम् ‘नल’।

‘नल’ optionally gets the कर्म-सञ्ज्ञा by 1-4-53 हृक्रोरन्यतरस्याम्– A कर्ता (agent) of the non-causal verbal root √हृ (हृञ् हरणे १. १०४६) or √कृ (डुकृञ् करणे ८. १०) optionally becomes the कर्म (object) of the causal verbal root.

Note: As per the सूत्रम् 1-4-55 तत्प्रयोजको हेतुश्च we know that रामः (सुग्रीवसहितः) is the हेतु: (cause) in the sentence रामो नलं सेतुमकारयत्। On removing the हेतु: we get the non-causative form of the sentence as नलः सेतुमकरोत् । नलः is प्रथमा-एकवचनम् of the पुंलिङ्ग-प्रातिपदिकम् ‘नल’। Hence ‘नल’ is the अणौ कर्ता (agent of the non-causal verbal root √कृ (डुकृञ् करणे ८. १०)). This अणौ कर्ता becomes the कर्म (object) णौ (of the causal form of the verbal root √कृ) since the conditions for applying the सूत्रम् 1-4-53 are satisfied here.

(1) नल + अम् । By 4-1-2 स्वौजसमौट्छष्टाभ्याम्भिस्ङेभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसिभ्याम्भ्यस्ङसोसाम्ङ्योस्सुप्‌। Since ‘नल’ has the कर्म-सञ्ज्ञा by 1-4-53 हृक्रोरन्यतरस्याम्, it takes a second case affix by 2-3-2 कर्मणि द्वितीया – A second case affix (‘अम्’, ‘औट्’, ‘शस्’) is used to denote कर्म (object of the action) provided it has not been expressed otherwise.
Note: 1-3-4 न विभक्तौ तुस्माः prevents the ending letter ‘म्’ of ‘अम्’ from getting the इत्-सञ्ज्ञा।

(2) नल + अम् = नलम् । By 6-1-107 अमि पूर्व: – In place of a preceding letter ‘अक्’ and the following vowel (‘अच्’) belonging to the affix ‘अम्’ there is a single substitute of that preceding अक् letter.


1. Consider the following verse from the गीता –
न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत्‌ |
कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः || 3-5||
Please change the sentence प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः सर्वः कर्म कार्यते to active voice (कर्तरि प्रयोग:)।

2. If ‘नल’ were not to (optionally) get the कर्म-सञ्ज्ञा by 1-4-53 हृक्रोरन्यतरस्याम् which विभक्ति: would it take?

3. Please change the sentence रामो नलं सेतुमकारयत् to passive voice (कर्मणि प्रयोग:)।

4. Where has the सूत्रम् 6-4-37 अनुदात्तोपदेशवनतितनोत्यादीनामनुनासिकलोपो झलि क्ङिति been used in the verses?

5. How would you say this in Sanskrit?
“(You) don’t make me do what I don’t want to do.”

6. How would you say this in Sanskrit?
i) “Mārīca assumed the form of a deer.”
ii) “Rāvaṇa made Mārīca assume the form of a deer.”
Use the verbal root √कृ (डुकृञ् करणे ८. १०) for ‘to assume (put on.)’

Easy questions:

1. Why doesn’t the सूत्रम् 2-4-52 अस्तेर्भूः apply in the forms क्षोभयामास and दर्शयामास?

2. Where has the सूत्रम् 7-3-111 घेर्ङिति been used in the verses?

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