Gita Snippets & Grammar Musings

A poetic endeavor in connecting with Sanskrit Grammar through the Pearls of Gita..

Sujatha R
3 min readOct 9, 2021

At the outset, both Gita and Grammar are two different topics. Both of them are verily dense and intriguing. While Gita explains the world around us and the tenets of action and karma phala, Grammar weaves a structure to think, communicate and express thoughts about this world.

In a way, both of them aid in understanding the other better. Know a bit of grammar and understand Gita better. Know a bit of Gita and it will illumine just about everything in a brighter shade.

How about using some hints from Gita and traverse on the basic tenets of Sanskrit Grammar? A shaky attempt.

How wonderful it is, that in the limitless ocean of ‘myself’, the waves of living beings arise, collide, play and disappear, according to their natures -Astavakra Gita

Did you ever wonder why the first person “I” was called Uttama Purusha?

In the heart of the Uttama Purusha Self, stages the world.. And it projects the Prathama Purusha characters of ‘she’ ‘he’ ‘they’ and the dwiteeya purusha experience of ‘you’ and gives an experience of the three worlds.

sarvasya chāhaṁ hṛidi sanniviṣhṭo 15.15
I sit in the heart of everyone

uttamaḥ puruṣhas tv anyaḥ paramātmety udāhṛitaḥ
yo loka-trayam āviśhya bibharty avyaya īśhvaraḥ 15.17
It is said that the uttama purusha supports the three worlds..

The sun and the moon, Day and Night, Man and Woman, Happy and Sad, Summer and Winter.. The world is ripe with dualities. and Sanskrit has a special placeholder for dual nouns along with singular and plural.

Verbs are the action words and Nouns are the actors on the stage. What does Gita have to tell about the philosophy of action?

Being born in this material world, action is unavoidable even for a moment
na hi kaśhchit kṣhaṇam api jātu tiṣhṭhatya
karma-kṛit

And there are 2 kinds of verbs. aatmane pada verbs describe the action of the actor without a need for any kind of audience.

The Sun rises
The flower
blooms
Udayate Vikasate

The other kind of verb parasparai pada describes the interaction between 2 nouns while conducting the action.

He ate his food
He
read a book
Kaadati, paTati

devān bhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ
parasparaṁ bhāvayantaḥ śhreyaḥ param avāpsyatha
And they helped each other and begetted prosperity

The transcendental verbs of everyday use.

The many shades of “is” experience.. How beautiful it is that one can express the trajectory of actions. Different shades to express
“to be”, “to exist”
“is”
“emanates”, “gives birth to”
“envelopes”
“knows”

bhavati,
asti
jaayate
vartate
vidyate

The 3 tenses of the verbs are his 3 legs of time. The 7 declensions of nouns are his 7 hands. Grammar his face and the pulse of meter and chandas his feet ticking.

The spectrum of sounds emerged from Om. Each root sound has an envelope, a sense of direction, and meaning. Sounds glued to form verbs and nouns and bigger words and sentences.

Among sounds I am the primordial “Aaa”. I am the inexhaustible time that distributes everything. Among “samaas” I am “dwandva”. I distribute karma phala

In the world of words, many masculine words were blown off ‘hh’ with a visarga.. like a glass maker blowing beautiful shapes from his heated furnace of glass.. like the 1000 names in Vishnu Sahasranamam and like bastrika pranayama.. every word a sarga a chapter of its own.

Feminine words like the coolness of the moonlight cascaded like in the Lalitha saharanamams.

akṣharaṁ brahma paramaṁ svabhāvo ’dhyātmam uchyate
bhūta-bhāvodbhava-karo
visargaḥ karma-sanjñitaḥ 8.3 Knowledge of the the infinite akshara is adyatma, while knowledge of the finite creations is adhibhuta

Gita does project karta, karma, karana, Sampradaana in subtle ways.. And adhikarana seems like a space and time expansion of desha kaala

According to Sankya philosophy, any type of action has the following ingredients.. doership karta, adhistaanam or sense of rooting, karana the tools for doing, various attempts and divine providence

adhiṣhṭhānaṁ tathā kartā karaṇaṁ cha pṛithag-vidham
vividhāśh cha pṛithak cheṣhṭā daivaṁ chaivātra pañchamam

samāsenaiva kaunteya niṣhṭhā jñānasya yā parā 18.50
O Kaunteya, Hear from me the right mix of ingredients for this great gyaan

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Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns