Glossary of terms used

This glossary contains only terms that appear in lessons and blogs published up to now. As more and more lessons and posts are published, the glossary will be updated.

The link provided is the primary link. There may be references to the term in other posts.

English Term Sanskrit Equivalent Definition Primary Link
Ablative case पञ्चमी (pañcamī) The ablative case is the “from”-case. It is used to express the place “from which” as in “Krishna comes from the city”. It is also used for comparisons ” Krishna is taller than Rama”. For example,  रामः नगरात् आगच्छति ( rāmaḥ nagarāt āgacchati) – Rama is coming (comes) from the city. In this sentence, नगरात् (nagarāt) is in the ablative case and means “from the city”. Lesson 2
Accusative case द्वितीया (dvitīyā) The accusative case is primarily used to denote the object of a sentence. For example, in रामः कृष्णं पश्यति rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati “Rama sees Krishna”, कृष्णं kr̥ṣṇaṃ is in the accusative case Lesson 2
Active Voice parasmai padam  परस्मै पदम् A sentence in which the subject is performing the action (on someone else). For example “Rama kills Ravana” Lesson 1
Analysis ākāṅkṣā  आकाङ्क्षा Process of decosntructing a sentence to get its meaning. It involves these steps: remove the Sandhis and get separate individual words; if the text is in verse, convert to prose form; for each word, figure out if it is a verb or noun, pronoun, numeral, adjective, adverb, particle, conjunction, pre-position, etc.; figure out the grammatical function of the word (what case, gender, number, what tense, what mode, what person, what voice etc.) –declensional and conjugational forms; if compound word , figure out what type of compound it is and separate out the constituent words; trace the derivation of each word from its root; figure out if the word is a participle, gerund, infinitive, gerundive or other derivation and what are the affixes and pre-positions that have been added; find the meaning of the word; figure out the connection between the words in the sentence (semantics); figure out if there are any special constructs like phrases, absolute contructions etc.; look in particular for phrases with the copula (forms of the verb “be” like is, was etc.) omitted.
Find the meaning of the sentence.
Lesson 4
Aryan ārya  आर्य A group of people who considered themselves to be noble as opposed to other people Vrshakapi Hymn
Ashtadhyayi aṣṭādhyāyī  अष्टाध्यायी Pāṇini’s  sutra-style treatise on Sanskrit grammar, estimated to have been completed between 6th and 4th century BCE. Panini
Athematic verbs Verbs of classes 2,3,5,7,8 and 9 are called athematic verbs Lesson 3
Athitigva athitigva अथितिग्व King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Cardinal number 1, 2 , 3 etc. Lesson 9
Case vibhaktiḥ  विभक्तिः The case is the grammatical function of a noun, a pronoun or an adjective. In an inflected language like Sanskrit in which the use of prepositions is limited, it is the case that decides whether a noun is the subject or object or serving any other function of a sentence. In Sanskrit there are seven normal cases and a vocative case Lesson 2
Conjugation Conjugation is the variation of the form of a verb in an inflected language such as Sanskrit, by which the voice, mood, tense, number, and person are identified. Conjugation is called tiṅantaprakaraṇam  तिङन्तप्रकरणम् in Sanskrit Lesson 1
Continuative or
ktvānta  क्त्वान्त; lyabanta  ल्यबन्त The continuative (gerund) indicates an action prior in time to the action of the main verb of a sentence. A series of continuatives can be used, where each continuative is prior in time to the one that immediately follows. Continuatives must always be followed by a main verb. Example: rāmo laṅkāṃ gatvā rāvaṇaṃ hatvā sītām amuñcat  रामो लङ्कां गत्वा रावणं हत्वा सीताम् अमुञ्चत् “Rama went to Lanka (or having gone to lanka) , killed Ravana and (or having killed Raavana) freed Sita.” The hatvā and gatvā are continuatives. ktvānta  क्त्वान्त is used with unprefixed root and lyabanta  ल्यबन्त is used with prefixed roots. Lesson 14
Battle of Ten Kings
dāśarājña  दाशराज्ञ A battle described in the Rig Veda where King Sudas defeats a coalition of ten kings. Vrshakapi Hymn
Dasyu dasyu  दस्यु A set of people opposed to the Aryans Vrshakapi Hymn
Dative case चतुर्थी (caturthī) The dative case is primarily used as the indirect object of a sentence. For example, कृष्णः रामाय पुस्तकं ददाति (kr̥ṣṇaḥ rāmāya pustakaṃ dadāti) – Krishna gives a book to Rama. In this sentence, the word रामाय (rāmāya) is in the dative case singular, meaning “to Rama”. Lesson 2
Declension subantaprakaraṇam  सुबन्तप्रकरणम् The variation of a noun, pronoun or adjective by which its gender, number and case is indicated. Lesson 2
Demonstrative pronouns This, that, yonder etc. tad, etad, idam, adas  तद् एतद् इदम् अदस् Lesson 9
Devanagiri devanāgarī  देवनागरी An abugida script used in the Indian subcontinent; used mainly for Sanskrit and Hindi [देवनागरी – This is Devanagari script] Lesson 1
Divodasa divodāsa दिवोदास King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Genitive case षष्ठी(ṣaṣṭhī) The genitive case is primarily used for indicating possession. For example, रामस्य पुस्तकम् ( rāmasya pustakam) – Rama’s book. रामस्य  rāmasya is in the genitive case. Lesson 2
Grassman’s Law It states that if an aspirated consonant is followed by another aspirated consonant in the next syllable, the first one loses the aspiration. Such a lost aspiration reappears if the second one loses it’s aspiration in a construct. Lesson 21
Guna vowel guṇa  गुण a ā e o ar ra  अ आ ए ओ अर् र are the Guna vowels

Guna of a ā are a ā themselves; Guna of i ī is e; Guna of  u ū is o; and Guna of r̥ ṝ is ar or ra depending on context;

For example bhū भू when guṇa strengthened (or  gunated) becomes bho  भो

Lesson 3
Hitopadesha hitopadeśa  हितोपदेश An ethico-didactic literary work that is a collection of ancient stories put together by a person called Narāyaṇa.  Many stories of the Hitopadeśa are sourced from the Pañcatantra. Lesson 4
Imperative loṭ  लोट् The primary use of the imperative is a command or injunction Lesson 10
Imperfect laṅ  लङ् A tense indicating past action Lesson 5
Indra indra  इन्द्र A Vedic deity. King of the gods Vrshakapi Hymn
Indrani indrāṇī  इन्द्राणी Indra’s wife Vrshakapi Hymn
Infinitive The infinitive is normally used to indicate the motive or purpose of an action. For example, “Rama goes to the city to kill Raavana.” Here, “to kill” is the infinitive. The purpose or motive of Rama going to the city is to kill Raavana. rāmo rāvaṇaṃ hantuṃ nagaraṃ gacchati  रामो रावणं हन्तुं नगरं गच्छति. The infinitive is hantum  हन्तुम्. Lesson 15
Instrumental case तृतीया (tr̥tīyā) The instrumental case is used primarily to denote accompaniment and means (instrument). For example,  रामः कृष्णं शस्त्रेण हन्ति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ śastreṇa hanti) – Rama kills Krishna with (a) weapon. The word शस्त्रेण (śastreṇa) is the instrumental case singular, meaning “with or by weapon”. Lesson 2
Interrogative pronouns Who, what etc. kim किम् Lesson 9
Jatayu jaṭāyu  जटायु Divine vulture who tries to save Sita and is killed by Ravana Pushpaka Vimana
Jon Kabat-Zinn The person who popularised mindfulness in the west Mindfulness
Kurushravana kuruśravaṇa कुरुश्रवण King mentioned in the Rig Veda History
Kutsa kutsa कुत्स King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Locative case सप्तमी (saptamī) The locative is the “in”-case expressing situation or location. For example, रामः नगरे अस्ति (rāmaḥ nagare asti) – Rama is in the city. In this sentence नगरे (nagare) is in the locative case meaning “in the city”. Lesson 2
M. R. Kale, Author of reference books, 1. A Higher Sanskrit Grammar, 2. Roots, Verb-Forms, and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language, Motilal Banrasidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi Reference
Middle voice ātmane padam  आत्मने पदम् A sentence in which the subject is performing the action (on oneself). For example “Rama washes himself” Lesson 3
Mindfulness A process of focusing on the present, meditation being the main way to train one’s mind for this. Mindfulness
Mitratithi mitrātithi   मित्रातिथि King mentioned in the Rig Veda History
Nominative case प्रथमा (prathamā) The nominative case is primarily used to denote the subject of a sentence. For example, in रामः कृष्णं पश्यति rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati “Rama sees Krishna”, रामः rāmaḥ is in the nominative case Lesson 2
Number vacanam वचनम् Refers to the number of persons in a grammatical event. Sanskrit dintinguishes three numbers – singular (one person) – eka vacanam एक वचनम्), dual (two persons) – dvi vacanam द्वि वचनम्, plural (three persons and above) – bahu vacanam बहु वचनम्. Lesson 1
Object The entity that is acted on by the subject. In the sentence “John hits Jacob”, “Jacob” is the object. In रामः कृष्णं पश्यति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati ) kr̥ṣṇaṃ कृष्णं is the subject. Lesson 1
Optative vidhiliṅ  विधिलिङ् Optative mood, also called potential mood. Used for expressing a wish Lesson 10
Ordinal number first, second, third etc. Lesson 9
Panini pāṇini  पाणिनि An ancient Sanskrit grammarian and linguist. Pāṇini is known for his text Ashtadhyayi, a sutra-style treatise on Sanskrit grammar, estimated to have been completed between 6th and 4th century BCE. Panini
Parsu parśu  पर्शु An Aryan people History
Past active participle An active version of the past passive participle. For example, tyaktavān  “he who has forsaken” from √tyaj Lesson 13
Past passive participle It is used like the English past passive participle in “-ed” or “-en”. “obtained”, “stolen” etc.  It is very commonly used in classical Sanskrit to make sentences. √krī gives krīta; √jīv gives jīvita Lesson 13
Person puruṣaḥ पुरुषः Person refers to the grammatical distinction between the participants in an event – the speaker (first person – I, we), the adressee (second person – you) and others (third person – he, she, them). In Sanskrit the third person is referred to as prathamapuruṣaḥ (प्रथमपुरुषः) the second person as madhyamapuruṣaḥ (मध्यमपुरुषः) and the first person as uttamapuruṣaḥ  (उत्तमपुरुषः) Lesson 1
Personal Endings Endings added to the stem form of the verb to indicate the conjugational form of the verb (person, tense, number etc.). Eg. ti  ति is the ending added to indicate present, indicative, third person, singular, active. (bhavati  भवति). te  ते is added to indicate the middle voice of the above (bhavate  भवते) Lesson 1
Personal pronoun I and you and its duals and plurals. In Sanskrit, peronal pronous have no distinction of gender. Asmad and  yuṣmad अस्मद् and युष्मद्. Lesson 9
Potential passive participles (gerundives) The gerundive denotes that the action or state expressed by the root or derivative must or ought to be done or undergone. For example “vācyam, vaktavyam, vacanīyam  वाच्यम्, वक्तव्यम्, वचनीयम्” all three [derived from the root √vac  √वच् (“speak”) mean “that which is to be said”, “that which ought to be said”. By extension of meaning, it can stand for “that which should be said” Lesson 15
Predicate Is the part of the sentence that describes what the subject does or is.  In the sentence “John hits Jacob”, “hits Jacob” is the predicate. In रामः कृष्णं पश्यति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati ) kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati कृष्णं पश्यति  is the predicate.
Present Indicative laṭ  लट् A tense indicating present action Lesson 1
Present participle The present participle is equivalent to the English participle “seeing” in “the man seeing the donkey”. There is a middle participle (eg.  labhamāna  लभमान from √labh  √लभ्) and an active participle (eg. bhavant  भवन्त् from √bhū √भू) Lesson 12
Pronoun A word that stands for a noun. It refers to either participants in a conversation (I, You etc.) or someone outside the conversation (he, she it etc.). In Sanskrit, the pronouns have some marked peculiarities of inflection. Lesson 9
Pushan pūṣan  पूषन् A Vedic god Vrshakapi Hymn
Pushpaka Vimana puṣpaka vimāna  पुष्पक विमान Ariel chariot of Ravana taken from Kubera Pushpaka Vimana
Ralph T. H. Griffith A nineteenth century translator of the Rig Veda
Rama rāma  राम King of Ayodhya, who defeated Ravana Pushpaka Vimana
Ramayana rāmāyaṇam  रामायणम् Acnient India epic poem Pushpaka Vimana
Ravana rāvaṇa  रावण King of Lanka who abducted Sita Pushpaka Vimana
Reduplication Reduplication is a process in which a (sometimes modified) part of the root (the initial consonant and the vowel, the starting vowel and maybe the following consonant etc.) is attached to the beginning of the root. Lesson 21
Relative An adverb accompanies by a corelative if…then etc. yadā…tadā (when, if…then) etc. Lesson 9
Relative pronoun Who what etc. used relatively; yad  यद् Lesson 9
Rig Veda r̥gveda  ऋग्वेद An ancient Indian collection of hymns. Around 5000 years old.
Roderick S. Bucknell Author of reference book, Sanskrit Manual, Motilal Banrasidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi Reference
Roman script A script used for many European and non-European languages. It is an alternative writing script for Sanskrit and Hindi. [This sentence is in Roman script!] Lesson 1
Root classes dhātu gaṇa  धातु गण There are ten root classes in Sanskrit. They are bhū class (1), ad class (2), hu class (3), div class (4), su class (5), tud class (6), rudh class (7), tan class (8), krī class (9), cur class (10)  भू (१), अद् (२), हु (३), दिव् (४), सु (५), तुद् (६), रुध् (७), तन् (८), क्री (९), चुर् (१०) Lesson 3
dhātu  धातु Most words in Sanskrit can be traced back to a root. It is a basic building block of a word. A word is formed through a series of modifications of the root. For example,  √i √इ  (“go”) is a root. The word ayana अयन  (“going”)  is derived from the root √i √इ  (“go”) through a series of modifications. There are ten classses of roots in Sanskrit Lesson 1
Sandhi saṃdhi  संधि The process in which word sounds change based on the environment in which they occur. For example, “rāmaḥ gacchati” becomes “rāmo gacchati”  “रामः  गच्छति”  becomes “रामो गच्छति”
Shambara śambara शम्बर King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Siddharupa A Sanskrit reference book Reference
Simple vowel a ā i ī u ū r̥ ṝ अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ ॠ  are the simple vowels. Lesson 3
Sita sīta  सीत Queen of Rama, who was abducted by Ravana Pushpaka Vimana
Soma soma  सोम A vedic god; an intoxicating drink used by the Aryans for their sacrifices Vrshakapi Hymn
Subject Is the person or thing about whom the statement is made. In the sentence “John hits Jacob”, “John” is the subject. In रामः कृष्णं पश्यति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati ) rāmaḥ रामः is the subject. Lesson 1
Sudas sudās  सुदास् Aryan king of the Bharatas Vrshakapi Hymn
Sushravas suśravas सुश्रवस् King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
The story of Nala naḷopākhyānam  नळोपाख्यानम् The story of Nala  is found in the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata. The story is told by the sage Brihadashva (br̥hadaśva  बृहदश्व) to Yudhishthira (yudhiṣṭhira  युधिष्ठिर). Nala
Thematic verbs Verbs of root classes 1,4,6 and 10 are called thematic verbs Lesson 3
Trasadasyu trasdasyu त्रसदस्यु A king mentioned in the Rig Veda History
Turvasha turvaśa तुर्वश King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Turvayana tūrvayāṇa तूर्वयाण King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Valmiki vālmīki  वाल्मीकि Author of the Ramayana Pushpaka Vimana
Vasishtha vasiṣṭha  वसिष्ठ Author of the seventh book (mandala) of the Rig Veda. The guru of Sudas and Rama Vrshakapi Hymn
Verb A word that is used in a sentence to describe an action, state, occurrence etc. The verb is the main part of the predicate. In the sentence “John hits Jacob”, “hits” is the verb. In रामः कृष्णं पश्यति (rāmaḥ kr̥ṣṇaṃ paśyati ) paśyati पश्यति  is the verb. Lesson 1
Verbal prefix upasarga  उपसर्ग A prefix changes the meaning of a verb. The meaning after the prefix is added is not predictable. The meaning of each prefixed verb needs to be learned individually. Some prefixes do not change the meaning at all, while others change it drastically. Eg. adhi+√gam – “go to, attain”; anu+√gam – “go afte”r.  It is possible to add more than one prefix to a verb as we saw above in sam+ā+√gam. The common prefixes in use are: ati, adhi, anu, antar, apa, api, abhi, ava, ā, ud, upa, ni, nis, parā, pari, pra, prati, vi, sam.There are some others of more restricted use: āvis, tiras, puras, bahis and some others. Lesson 14
Viswamitra viśvāmitra  विश्वामित्र Author of the third book (mandala) of the Rg Veda Vrshakapi Hymn
Vocative सम्बोधन प्रथमा (sambodhana prathamā) The vocative case is used for calling, for addressing etc. For example, राम कृष्णः आगच्छति (rāma kr̥ṣṇaḥ āgacchati) – Hey Rama, Krishna is coming. In this sentence, राम (rāma) is in the vocative case. Lesson 2
Vowel gradation or ablaut A phenomenon of variation of the vowel of stems to indicaticate different functions. For example in English we have sing, sang, sung and the noun song. In Sanskrit, a vowel has three grades simple, Guna and Vriddhi. Lesson 3
Vriddhi vowel vr̥ddhi  वृद्धि ā ai au ār rā  आ ऐ औ आर् रा are the Vriddhi vowels.

Vriddhi of a ā is ā; Vriddhi of i ī is ai; Vriddhi of  u ū is au; and Vriddhi of r̥ ṝ is ār or rā depending on context;

bhū भू when vr̥ddhi strengthened (or vrddhied) becomes bhau  भौ

Lesson 3
Vrshakapi vr̥ṣākapi  वृषाकपि An ape-monkey mentioned in the Rig Veda (10.86). A favourite of Indra Vrshakapi Hymn
William Dwight Whitney Author of reference book, Sanskrit Grammar, Motilal Banrasidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi Reference
Word order The sequence of words in a sentence that is decided by grammtical rules and affects the meaning of the sentence Lesson 1
Yadu yadu यदु King mentioned in the Rig Veda Vrshakapi Hymn