Lesson 35. Adjectives.विशेषण s
An Adjective, a विशेषणम् , is a word which tells you more about the noun.
For example: A tiny baby, a dark cloud, a red sunset, a compassionate friend.
One of the most beautiful ideas in Sanskrit expression is the adjective's firm sense of loyalty to the noun it is connected with.i.e. the adjective follows the noun in ALL respects viz. gender, number and case.
If the noun is masculine and is in the तृतीया विभक्तिः , the adjective follows the same लिङ्गम् and .विभक्तिः of the noun,
If the noun is neuter and in the द्वितीया विभक्तिः so is our loyal friend.
If the noun is feminine and in the पञ्चमी विभक्तिः so is the adjective.
In that sense, both the pronoun सर्वनामम् , and the adjective विशेषणम् , stick by the noun NO MATTER WHAT.
Let us take the adjective मधुर as an example.
एतस्मात् मधुरात् फलात् अहं रसं प्राप्नोमि |
मधुरां कथां श्रुत्वा, निद्रां करोति बालकः |
मधुरस्य कृष्णस्य वाणी मधुरा |
(Does the stotra अधरं मधुरं नयनं मधुरं, reveal to you its beauty now?)
Since words can be placed in any which way in a Sanskrit text or a shloka, to make sense of it, do the following:
1. Pick the verb first.
2. Pick the subject to go with the verb.
3. Pick the pronouns and the adjectives that are in the subject form (nominative case ... the प्रथमा विभक्ति)
4. Pick the rest of the nouns in the other cases.
5. Match the adjectives and the pronouns for each case.
6. Remember that all अकारान्त masculine adjective forms are declined like रामः as in सुन्दरः, आकारान्त / ईकारान्त feminine forms could be either माला or नदी as in सुन्दरा or सुन्दरी, अकारान्त neuter forms are declined like फलम् as in सुन्दरम् .
7. If the root adjectives end with a consonant, or, end with another vowel other than the ones given above, (for example महत् or बहु ) they will be declined differently…..not to worry, I'll add those declensions as supplements when I introduce those ending words to you. So in case you wish to write " big world " you will be writing महान् विश्वः, to denote a "big building" महत् भवनम्,, and, to signify a "big garland" महती माला
The best way to see if you have understood what i have tried to explain, is to try to look at how one may translate a shloka from our Guru, Shiva or our Devi pujana-s.
Trying to translate (with help)
There is no way we would be able to move ahead in life without The Guru's Anugraha. So our very first translating session(even if it seems slightly difficult) will be the first Dhyana Shloka of the Guru Pujana. Seeking Swamiji's blessings, let us begin....
धृतशिवमयगात्रं साधकानुग्रहार्थम् |
शमिततिमिरशोकं श्रीगुरुं भावयामि || 1 ||
A quick look at the shloka and the verb भावयामि stands out. The suffix मि reveals to the decipherer that the one doing the भावम् is अहम् , I.
अहं भावयामि .... I contemplate lovingly.
That becomes our first inference.
Whom do i contemplate lovingly upon? We need a word in the द्वितीयाविभक्ति, the object form of a word.श्रीगुरुं fits the bill to a T. There are many other words in the shloka that all fit into the द्वितीयाविभक्ति. So we assume that they are all adjectives of the word श्रीगुरुम् | You will see how many different words all come together to form a single one. This kind of sticking together is done with root words...for example, instead of writing रामस्य भ्राता, i would write रामभ्राता and leave you to figure out what i actually mean. With plenty of reading, the process of figuring out what an author or a poet means, becomes easier. To get back to the translation on hand:
बद्धसंवित्सुमुद्रं .... the one who shows - बद्ध , the Samvit Mudra -संवित्सुमुद्रं , the chinmudra, (the classical mudra wherein the forefinger touches the thumb to form a circle and the rest of the fingers stand upright in a gesture depicting complete knowledge.)
धृतशिवमयगात्रं..... the one who possesses -धृत, a body -गात्रं, that is strong, tangible and auspicious- शिवमय.
श्रुतिशिरसिविभान्तं.... Who is at the pinnacle- शिरसि, lustrous -विभान्तं in His knowledge of the Vedas, the sacred texts -श्रुति.
बोधमार्तण्डमूर्तिं ....... the one who is like the Sun- मार्तण्ड, the epitome- मूर्तिं, of knowledge - बोध|
शमिततिमिरशोकं .... The one who has destroyed -शमित, darkness- तिमिर and sorrow -शोकम् |
Two words have yet to be figured out.
द्विदलकमलमध्ये and साधकानुग्रहार्थम् . The first is from the सप्तमी विभक्ति which tells you where the loving meditation is done. That has been inferred by catching a hold of the ये ending. Two- द्वि, petalled -दल, lotus -कमल, in the middle- मध्ये , the Ajna Chakra, which is between one's brows.
And the अर्थम् ending in साधकानुग्रहार्थम् , tells you why the Guru is present in our lives.
साधक + अनुग्रह + अर्थम् - For the purpose of bestowing His Anugraha on a Sadhaka.
So the entire translation would read: I contemplate lovingly, in my Ajna Chakra, The Guru, who is there to bestow His Anugraha on a Sadhaka. I meditate upon Him, who shows the Samvit Mudra; whose body is strong, tangible and auspicious; who is at the pinnacle, lustrous in His knowledge of the Vedas; who is like the Sun, the epitome of knowledge and who destroys darkness and sorrow. To be able to do this does require some idea on how to appropriately break up a long word, made up of many different words, into smaller components. It can get tricky, but in time it soon begins to make sense. A dictionary helps enormously. Now, with your understanding of adjectives and how they are used, shall we try our hand at translating simple shlokas ?
Over to Lesson 35 A.Trying to translate on your own!