Halanta-shabda Vibhakthi forms - Illustrations from Gita

Vibhakti Illustrations for shabdas ending with consonants..

Sujatha R
4 min readJan 20, 2022

I was exploring vibhakthi of halanta shabda. Was pleasantly surprised by some findings. Sharing some illustrations from Gita and Vishnu Saharanamam.

If you are new to the term halanta.. Panini organizes the alphabets in a unique ascending list like fashion. The vowel range start from a and end with the marker ch.. Vowels list is hence called ach list. Hence words like ‘rama’ which end with vowels are called ach-anta or ajanta. Consonant list starts with h and ends with marker al.. hence list of consonants are called as hal.

Halanta shabda are the basewords ending in consonants and our chants have so many of them. There rules of vibhakti is different from the “rama” shabda

atman, karmaN, raajan, naaman, darshan
darshin, yogin, sanyAsin,
bhagawat, shreemat, dheemat, buddhimat
shreyas, gariyas, tapas, tejas
manas, vaak

Thankfully, there is one halanta template which is a close fit for the different words. Interestingly, it seems it is quite close to the “magical universal vibhakti template” coded by Panini. Source: “High School Sanskrit Grammar Made Easy” by Vyoma Labs.

1st Vibhakti

A few popular words in Singular and Plural

pantaa — pantinah
अचेतस -अचेतसः

Some common words in plural:

pakshiNah, praniNah [birds, living beings]
dishah [dik], aashishah [aashiih]
manaansi, chakshuunsi, saraansi, strotAnsi[minds, eyes, lakes, stotrAs]

4th Vibhakthi

From the astotarams, let us checkout halanta words ending with ‘t’ and ’n’. Notice the (ए) ending in each.

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
ॐ श्रीमते नमः

ॐ परमात्मने नमः
ॐ परशुधारिणे नमः
ॐ विश्वात्मने नमः
ॐ शेषशायिने नमः
ॐ योगिने नमः

Infact.. when I was glancing Venkatesha Suprabhatam and Vishnu Sahasranamam, I realised that some “e” ending words were coming along with namah shabda.. Generally “e” ending words are 7th vibhakti.. That made me to check out further and discover this topic.

नमोऽस्त्वनन्ताय सहस्रमूर्तये
सहस्रपादाक्षिशिरोरुबाहवे ।
सहस्रनाम्ने पुरुषाय शाश्वते
सहस्रकोटी-युगधारिणे नमः ॥ 28 ॥

सहस्रनाम्ने शाश्वते युगधारिणे are halanta words in 4th vibhakti.

3rd Vibhakthi

Notice the vowel ending (आ)

मनसा वाचा कर्मणा
By mind.. By Words.. By action

By Self

For an idea, let us visit the halanta base template. Most of them are vowel pratyaya endings and few consonant pratyayas which are glued to the base word through Sandhi..

1. (स्) — (औ) — (अः)
2. (अम्) — (औ) — (अः)
3. (आ) — (भ्याम्) — (भिः)
4. (ए) — (भ्याम्) — (भ्यः)
5. (अः) — (भ्याम्) — (भ्यः)
6. (अः) — (ओः)-(आम्)
7. (इ) — (ओः) — (सु)

As Gita is the Song of the Self and we will pick some illustrations from there, Let us see the आत्मन् shabda.

1.आत्मा, आत्मानौ, आत्मानः
आत्मानम्, आत्मानौ, आत्मनः
आत्मना, आत्मभ्याम्, आत्मभिः
आत्मने, आत्मभ्याम्, आत्मभ्यः
आत्मनः, आत्मभ्याम्, आत्मभ्यः
आत्मनः, आत्मनोः, आत्मनाम्
आत्मनि, आत्मनोः, आत्मसु
आत्मन्, आत्मानौ, आत्मानः

Do notice how आत्मानः repeats in 5 places.. 1.5, 1.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.8..

A handy way to remember the singular forms.. As told by Prof Narasing Rao.. Think of a musical instrument. Play with the last sound.

tam taa te.. tah tah ti (bhagavat)
bhagawatam, bhagawataa, bhagawate, bhagawatah, bhagawatah, bhagawati

nam naa ne.. nah nah ni (atman)

sam saa se.. sah sah si (manas)

We have seen simple illustrations of 3 & 4 vibhakthi which are common. Let us see other forms in Gita. The words shine a deeper meaning after this understanding.

Vibhakthi 8: Sambodhana..

The concluding lines of Gita.. Sanjaya narrates to the blind King.

राजन् संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य … संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम् ।
केशव-अर्जुनयोः पुण्यम् … हृष्यामि च मुहुः मुहुः ॥ 18.76

O King, remembering, remembering this wonderful and sacred discourse of Keshava and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.

Vibhakti 2:

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य … तदा आत्मानम् सृजामि अहम्
Gita 4.7

Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma, I create “self”

प्रशान्त-मनसम् हि एनम् योगिनम् सुखम् उत्तमम् ।
उपैति शान्त-रजसम् ब्रह्म-भूतम् अकल्मषम् ॥ 6.27

When the mind is thoroughly quieted, then there comes upon the Yogin the highest, stainless, passionless bliss of the soul that has become the Brahman.

Vibhakti 7 & 3: Adhikarana & karana

आत्मनि (7) in the self
आत्मना (3) by the self

आत्मनि एव आत्मना तुष्टः
स्थितप्रज्ञः तदा उच्यते — 2.55

Krishna tells Arjuna.. He who is satisfied “in the self” “by the self”.. is “sthitapragya

मनसा(3) स्मरन् Remembering with the mind. 3.6

Vibhakthi 4: Comparison

The classic opening verse from chapter 3.

O Janardana.. O Keshava.. If you hold the intelligence to be greater than karma, why then do you, appoint me to in a terrible work

कर्मणः (5) than karma
कर्मणि (7) in karma

ज्यायसी चेत् कर्मणः ते मता बुद्धिः जनार्दन ।
तत् किम् कर्मणि घोरे माम् नियोजयसि केशव ॥

Vibhakthi 3 Plural

तत्त्वदर्शिन् shabda

उभयोः अपि दृष्टः अन्तः तु अनयोः तत्त्व-दर्शिभिः 2.16
The ends of “is” and “is not” has been seen “by the tattva-darshins”.

Hope to add more relatable examples as I come across..

Repository of word forms




Sujatha R

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