William Dwight Whitney.

A Sanskrit grammar : including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brahmana online

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and to subject and length and metre of hymn: this collection
is the Big- Veda Veda of verses (yo) or of hymns. Other
collections were made also out of the same general mass
of traditional material: doubtless later, although the inter-

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xvi Introduction.

relations of this period are as yet too unclear to allow of
our speaking with entire confidence as to anything concern-
ing them. Thus, the SSma-Veda Veda of chanU (sftman),
containing only about a sixth as much, its verses nearly all
found in the Rig-Veda also, but appearing here with nume-
rous differences of reading: these were passages put together
for chanting at the soma-sacrifices. Again, collections called
by the comprehensive name of Yajur-Veda Veda of sac^
rtficial formulas (yajus) : these contained not verses alone,
but also numerous prose utterances, mingled with the former,
in the order in which they were practically employed in
the ceremonies; they were strictly liturgical collections. Of
these, there are in existence several texts, which have their
mutual differences: the VSjasaneyi-SaihhitS (in two slightly
discordant versions, Mfidhyandina and ElS^va), sometimes
also called the White Yajur-Veda; and the various and
considerably differing texts of the Black Yajur-Veda, namely
the TSittijiya-Saihliita, the MftitrSya^I-SaihhitS, the Kapi?-
(hala-SaihhitS, and the ESfhaka (the two last not yet pub-
lished). Finally, another historical collection, like the Rig-
Veda, but made up mainly of later and less accepted
material, and called (among other less current names) the
Atharva-Veda Veda of the Atharvans (a legendary priestly
family) ; it is somewhat more than half as bulky as the Rig-
Veda, and contains a certain amount of material correspond-
ing to that of the latter, and also a number of brief prose
passages. To this last collection is very generally refused
in the orthodox literature the Name of Veda; but for us it
is the mo^t interesting of all, after the Rig-Veda, because
it contains the largest amount of hymn-material (or mantra,
as it is called, in distinction from the prose brfihma^a),
and in a language which, though distinctly less antique
than that of the other, is nevertheless truly Vedic. Two
versions of it are extant, one of them in only a single
known manuscript.

A not insignificant body of like material, and of various
period (although doubtless in the main belonging to the
latest time of Vedic productiveness, and in part perhaps

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Introduction xvii

the imitative work of a yet more modern time), is scattered
through the texts to be later described, the BrShma^ias and
the Stltras. To assemble and sift and compare it is now
one of the pressing needs of Vedic study.

The fundamental divisions of the Vedic literature here
mentioned have all had their various schools of sectaries,
each of these with a text of its own, showing some differ-
ences firom those of the other schools ; .but those mentioned
above are all that are now known to be in existence; and
the chance of the discovery of others grows every year

The labor of the schools in the conservation of their
sacred texts was extraordinary, and has been crowned with
such success that the text of each school, whatever may
be its differences firom those of other schools, is virtually
without various readings, preserved with all its peculiarities
of dialect, and its smallest and most exceptional traits of
phonetic form, pure and unobscured. It is not the place
here to describe the means by which, in addition to the
religious care of the sectaries, this accuracy was secured:
forms of texts, lists of peculiarities and treatises upon them,
and so on. When this kind of care began in the case of
each text, and what of original character may have been
effaced before it, or lost in spite of it, cannot be told. But
it is certain that the Vedic records furnish, on the whole,
a wonderfully accurate and trustworthy picture of a form of
ancient Indian language (as well as ancient Indian beliefs
and institutions) which was a natural and undistorted one,
and which goes back a good way behind the classical San-
skrit. Its differences from the latter the following treatise
endeavors to show in detail.

Along with the verses and sacrificial formulas and
phrases in the text of the Black Yajur-Veda are given
long prose sections, in which the ceremonies are described,
their meaning and the reason of the details and the accom-
panying utterances are discussed and explained, illustrative
legends are reported of fabricated, and various speculations,
etymological and other, are indulged in. Such matter comes

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xviii Introduction.

to be called brShma^a (apparently relating to the brahman
or warship). In the White Yajur-Veda, it is separated into
a work by itself, beside the saihhitS or text of veises and
formulas, and is called the ip&toP&^ha-Brfihma^a Brahmana
of a hundred ways. Other similar collections are found, be-
longing to various other schools of Vedic study, and they
bear the common name of BrShma^a, with the name of the
school, or some oth^r distinctive title, prefixed. Thus, the
Aitareya and KSu^Itaki-BrShmai^aS} belonging to the schools
of the Rig-Veda, the Paiioavin9a and Sa4vin9a"Br&hmai?as
and other minor works, to the Sama-Veda; the Gopatha*
BrShmai^, to the Atharva-Veda ; and a JSiminlya- or Tala-
vakftra-Brfthmai^, to the Sama-Veda, has recently (Burnell)
been discovered in India; the T&ittirlya-Br&hniail^ is a col-
lection of mingled mantra and brShmaii^, like the saibhitS
of the same name, but supplementary and later. These
works are likewise regarded as canonical by the schools,
and are learned by their sectaries with the same extreme care
which is devoted to the saibhitfis, and their condition of
textual preservation is of a kindred excellence. To a cer-
tain extent, there is among them the possession of common
material: a fact the bearings of which are not yet fully

Notwithstanding the inanity of no small part of their
contents, the Brahma^as are of a high order of interest in
their bearings on the history of Indian institutions; and
philologically they are not less important, since they re-
present a form of language in most respects intermediate
between the classical and that of the Vedas, and offer spe-
cimens on a large scale of a prose style, and of one which
is in the main a natural and freely developed one — the
oldest and most primitive Indo-European prose.

Beside the Brahmanas are sometimes found later ap-
pendices, of a similar character, called Arai^yakas (forest^
sections): as the Aitareya-Araijyaka, Tluttiriya-Arai^yaka ,
Brhad-Arai^yaka, and so on. And from some of these, or
even from the Brahmanas, are extracted the earliest Upa*
ni^ads [sittings^ lectures on sacred subjects) — which,

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Introduction. xix

however, are continued and added to down to a compara-
tively modern time. The Upanishads are one of the lines
by which the Brahma^a literature passes over into the later
theological literature.

Another line of transition is shown in the StLtras (lines,
rules). The works thus named are analogous with the
Brahmanas in that they belong to the schools of Vedic
study and are named from them, and that they deal with
the religious ceremonies : treating them, however, in the
way of prescription, not of dogmatic explanation. They,
too, contain some mantra or hymn-material, not found to
occur elsewhere. In part (9rSuta or kalpa-stltras) , they take
up the great sacrificial ceremonies, with which the Brah-
manas have to do; in part (grhya-stltras], they teach the
minor duties of a pious householder; in some cases (sS-
may&cSrika-stltras) they lay down the general obligations of
one whose life is in accordance with prescribed duty. And
out of the last two, or especially the last, come by natural
development the law-books (dharma-9S8tra8), which make
a conspicuous figure in the later literature: the oldest and
most noted of them being that called by the name of
Manu (an outgrowth, it is believed by many, of the Manava
Vedic school); to which are added that of Yftjilavalkya, and
many others.

Respecting the chronology of this development, or the
date of any class of writings, still more of any individual
work, the less that is said the better. All dates given in
Indian literary history are pins set up to be bowled down
again. Every important work has undergone so many more
or less transforming changes before reaching the form in
which it comes to us, that the question of original con-
struction is complicated with that of final redaction. It is
so with the law-book of Manu, just mentioned, which has
well-founded claims to being regarded as one of the very
oldest works of the proper Sanskrit literature, if not the
oldest (it has been variously assigned, to periods from six
centuries before Christ to four after Christ). It is so, again,
in a still more striking degree, with the great legendary


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epic of the MahSbhSrata. The ground-work of this is
doubtless of very early date; but it has served as a text
into which materials of various character and period have
been inwoven, until it has become a heterogeneous mass,
a kind of cyclopedia for the warrior-caste, hard to separate
into its constituent parts. The story of Nala, and the phil-
osophical poem Bhagavad-GItS, are two of the most noted
of its episodes. The BSm&srai^a, the other most famous epic,
is a work of another kind: though also worked over and
more or less altered in its transmission to our time, it is
the production, in the main, of a single author (Yalmiki);
and it is generally believed to be in part allegorical, re-
presenting the introduction of Aryan culture and dominion
into Southern India. By its side stand a number of minor
epics, of various authorship and period, as the Baghuva&9a
(ascribed to the dramatist Ealidasa), the MSghakftvya, the
BhattikSvya (the last, written chiefly with the grammatical
intent of illustrating by use as many as possible of the
numerous formations which, though taught by the gram-
marians, find no place in the literature).

The PurBijiaB, a large class of works mostly of immense
extent, are best mentioned in connection with the epics.
They are pseudo-historical and prophetic in character, of
modern date, and of inferior value. Real history finds no
place in Sanskrit literature, nor is there any conscious
historical element in any of the works composing it.

Lyric poetry is represented by many works, some of
which, as the Meghadtita and GItogovinda, are of no mean
order of merit.

The drama is a still more noteworthy and important
branch. The first indications of dramatical incliaation and
capacity on the part of the Hindus are seen in certain
hymns of the Veda, where a mythological or legendary
situation is conceived dramatically, and set forth in the
form of a dialogue — well-known examples are the dialogue
of Sarama and the Panis, that of Yama and his sister Yami,
that of Vasishtha and the rivers, that of Agni and the other
gods — but there are no extant intermediaries between these

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Introduction. xxi

and the standard drama. The beginnings of the latter date
horn a period when in actual life the higher and educated
characters used Sanskrit^ and the lower and uneducated used
the popular dialects derived from it, the Prakrits ; and their
dialogue reflects this condition of ^things. Then, however
learning (not to call it pedantry) intervened, and stereotyped
the new element; a Prakrit grammar grew up beside- the
Sanskrit grammar, according to the rules of which Prakrit
could be made indefinitely on a substrate of Sanskrit; and
none of the existing dramas need to date from the time of
vernacular use of Prakrit, while most or all of them are
undoubtedly much later. Among the dramatic authors,
Kalidasa is incomparably the chief, and his 9^kuntalS is
distinctly his masterpiece. His date has been a matter of
much inquiry and controversy; it is doubtless some cen-
turies later than our era. The only other work deserving
to be mentioned along with Kalid^sa's is the MfoohakatikS of
^udraka, also of questionable period, but believed to be
the oldest of the extant dramas.

A partly dramatic character belongs also to the fable,
in which animals are represented as acting and speaking.
The most noted works in this department are the Fafica-
tantra, which through Persian and Semitic versions has made
its way all over the world, and contributes a considerable
quota to the fable-literature of every European language,
and, partly founded on it, the comparatively recent and
popular Hitopade9a (salutary instruction).

Two of the leading departments of Sanskrit scientific
literature, the legal and the grammatical, have been already
sufficiently noticed; of those remaining, the most important
by far is the philosophical. The beginnings of philosophic-
al speculation are seen already in some of the later hymns
of the Veda, more abundantly in the Brahmanas and Ajan-
yakas, and then especially in the Upanishads. The evo-
lution and historic relation of the systems of philosophy,
and the age of their text-books, are matters on which much
obscurity still rests. There are six systems of primary rank,
and reckoned as orthodox, although really standing in no

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accordance with appioved religious doctrines. All of them
seek the same end, the emancipation of the soul from the
necessity of continuing its existence in a succession of
bodies y and its unification with the All^soul; but they
differ in regard to the means by which they seek to attain
this end.

. The astronomical science of the Hindus is a reflection
of that of Greece, and its literature is of recent date; but
as mathematicians, in arithmetic and geometry, they have
shown more independence. Their medical science, although
its beginnings go back even to the Veda, in the use of
medicinal plants with accompanying incantations, is of little
account, and its proper literature by no means ancient.

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Chap. Page.

PfiEFACE .......... V

Introduction xi

I. Alphabet 1 — 9

II. System op Sounds; Pronunciation .... 10 — 34
Vowels, 10; Consonants, 13 ; Quantity, 27; Accent, 28.

IlL Rules of Euphonic Combination 34 87

Introductory, 34; Principles, 37; Rules of Vowel Ck)m-
binatio'n,42; Permitted Finals, 49; Deaspiration, 63;
Surd and Sonant Assimilation, 54; Combinations of
Final 8 and r, 66; CouTerslon of s to 9, 61; Con-
version of n to ]^» 54; GonTexsion of Dental Mutes to
Lingnals and Palatals, 66; Combinations of Final n,
69; Combinations of Final m, 71; the Palatal Mutes
and Sibilant, and h» 72; the Lingual Sibilant, 77;
Extension and Abbreviation, 78; Strengthening and
Weakening Processes, 81 ; Qnna and V^^ddhit 81 ;
Vowel-lengthening, 84; Vowel-lightening, 86; Nasal
Increment, 86; Reduplication, 87.

IV. Declension 88 110

Gender, Kumber, Case, 88; Uses of the Cases, 89;
Endings of Declension, 103; Variation of Stem, 107;
Accent in Declension, 108.

y. Nouns AND Adjectives Ill 175

Classi^cation etc.. Ill ; I^eclension I., Stems in a, 112 ;
Declension II., Stems in i and u, 116; Declension
IIL, Stems in Long Vowels (&, i, ti): A. Root-words
etc., 124; Stems in Diphthongs, 130; B. Derivative
Stems etc., 131; Declension IV., Stems in j or ar,
137; Declension V., Stems in Consonants, 141;
A. Root-stems etc., 143; B. Derivative Stems in as,
is, .aeul53; C. Pei;iva^ve S^ems in an, 156: D.
in in, 161 ; B. in ant or at, 163 ; F. Perfect Par-
ticiples in vftAs, 169; Q. Comparatives in yfi&s or
yaa* 172; Comparison, 173.

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xxiv Contents.

Chap. Page.

VI. Numerals 177 — 185

Cardinals, 177; Ordinals etc., 183.

Vn. Pronouns 185 — 199

Personal, 185; Demonstrative, 188; Interrogative,
194; Relative, 195; other Prononns: Emphatic, In-
definite, 196; Nonms used pronominally, 197;
Pronominal Derivatives, Possessives etc., 197; Ad-
jectives declined pronominally, 199.

VIII. Conjugation 200 — 226

Voice, Tense, Mode, Number, Person, 200; Verbal
Adjectives and Nouns, 203; Secondary GoDjugations,
203; Personal Endiogs, 204; Subjunctive Mode, 209;
Optative, 211 ; Imperative, 213 ; Uses of the Modes,
215; Participles, 220; Augment, 220; Reduplication,
222; Accent of the Verb, 223.

IX. The Present-System 227 — 278

Genera], 227 ; Conjugations and Conjugation Classes,
228; Root-Class (second or ad-class), 231; Re-
duplicating Class (third or hu-dass), 242; Nasal
Class (seventh or rudh-class), 250; nu and u-CIasses
(fifth and eighth, or su- and tan-classes), 254; ni,-
Class (ninth or kri-class), 260; a-Class (first or
bhu-class), 264; Accented &-Class (sixth or tud-
class), 269; ya-Class (fourth or dlv-class), 271;
Accented yd-Class or Passive Conjugation, 275;
So-called tenth 'or our-class, 277; Uses of the Pres-
ent and Imperfect, 278.

X. The Perfect-System 279 — 296

Perfect Tense, 279; Perfect Participle, 291; Modes
of the Perfect, 292; Pluperfect, 295; Uses of the
Perfect, 295.

XI. The Aorist-Systems 297 — 330

Classification, 297; I. Simple Aorist: 1. Root-Aorist,
299; Passive Aorist 3d sing., 304; 2. the a-Aorist,
305; II. 3. Reduplicated Aorist, 308; III. Sibilant
Aorist, 313; 4. the 8-Aorist, 314; 5. the i?- Aorist,
320; 6. the eif-Aorlst, 323; 7. the aa- Aorist, 325;
Precative, 326 ; Uses of the Aorist, 328.

XII. The Future-Systems 330 — 339

I. The 8-Future, 331 ; Preterit of the s-Futuro, Con-
ditional, 334; U. The Periphrastic Future, 335;
Uses of the Futures and Conditional, 337.

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Contents. xxv

Chap. ph«.

XIII. Verbal adjectives and Nouns: Partici-
ples, Infinitives, Gerunds 340 — 360

Passive Participle in t& or n&, 340; Past Actire

Participle in tavant, 344; Future Passive Parti-
ciples, Gerundives, 345; Infinitives, 347; Uses of
the Infinitives, 361; Gerunds, 355; Adverbial Gerund
in am, 359.

XIV. Derivative or Secondary Conjugation . . 360—391

I. Passive, 361; II. Intensive, 362; Present-System,
365; Perfect, Aorlst, Future, etc., 370; III. Desider-
atlve, 372; Present- System, 374; Perfect, Aorist,
Future, etc., 376; IV. Causative, 378; Present-System,
380; Perfect, Aorist, Future, etc., 383; V. Denom-
inative, 386.

XV. Periphrastic and Compound Conjugation 391 — 403
The Periphrastic Perfect, 392; Participial Periphras-
tic Phrases, 394; Composition with Prepositional
Prefixes, 395; Other Verbal Compounds, 400.

XVI. Indbclinables 403 — 417

Adverbs, 403; Prepositions, 414; Conjunctions, 416;
Inteijections, 417.

XVII. Derivation of Declinable Stems 418—480

A. Primary Derivatives, 420; B. Secondary Deriva-
tives, 454.

XVIII. Formation of Compound Stems . . .« •. . . 480 — 515
Classification, 480; I. Copulative Compounds, 485;

II. Determinative Compounds, 489; A. Dependent
Compounds, 489; B. Descriptive Compounds, 494;
in. Secondary Adjective Compounds, 501; A. Pos-
sessive Compounds, 501 ; B. Compounds with Governed
Final Member, 511 ; Adjective Compounds as Nouns
and as Adverbs, 512; Anomalous Compounds 514;
Stem-finals altered in Composition, 514; Loose
Construction with Compounds, 515.

Appendix 516—520

A. Examples of Various Sanslirlt Type, 516 ; B. Ex-
ample of Accentuated Text, 518; Synopsis of the
conjugation of roots bhu and k^, 520.

Sanskrit-Index -. 52 1 — 539

General-Index 540 — 551

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AA. Aitareya-Aranyaka.

AB. Aitareya-Brahmana.
A^S. A^valayana-Qraata-SCltra.
AGS. AQvalayana-Grbya-Sutra.
Apast. Apastamba-Sutra.
APr. Atharva-PratiQakhya.
AV. Atharva-Veda.

B. or Br. Brabmanas.

BAU. Brbad-Aranyaka-Upanisad.
BhG. Bbagavad-Glta.
BhP. Bbagayata-Purana.
BK. Bttbtlingk and Rotb (Peters-
burg Lexicon).

C. Classical Sanskrit.
Q. Qftkuntala.

Qatr. Qatrumjaya-Mabatmyam.
QB. Qatapatba-Brabmana.
QQS. 9ankbayana-9rauta-Sutra.
gGS. 9ankhayana-Grbya-SQtra.
CbU. Ghandogya-Upanisad.
^vU. 9v6t^^&tof<^Upani§ad.
DKC. Da9a-Kumara-Carita.
E. Epos (MBh. and R.).
GB. Gopatba-Brabmana.
GGS. Gobbiliya-Grhya-Sutra.
H. Hitopade^.
Har. Harivan^a.
JB. Jaiminlya (or Talavakara) Brab-

JUB. Jaiminiya - Upanisad - Brab-

K. Eathaka.

Eap. Kapistbala-Sambita.
KB. Kauflltaki- (or 9^kli^7&i>&*)

KBU. Eaufitaki-Brabmana-Upani-

KQS. Katyayana-^rauta-Sutra.
KS. Kau^ika-Sutra.
KSS. Katba-Sarit-Sagara.
EtbU. Katba Upani§ad.

EU. Eena-Upanifad.

LQS. Latyayana-^rauta-Sutra.

M. Mann*

MaiU. Maitri-Upanifad.

MBh. Mababbarata.

MdU. Mundaka-Upanisad.

Mogh. Megbaduta.

MS. Maitrayani-Samhita.

Nais. Naisadbiya.

Nir. Nirukta.

Pafic. Pancatantra.

PB. PaiicaviiiQa- (or Tandya-) Brab-

PGS. Paraskara-Grbya-Sutra.

PU. Pra^na Upanisad.

R. Ramayana.

Ragb. Ragbavaii^a.

RPr. Rigveda-PratiQakbya.

RT. Raja-Tarangini.

RV. Rig- Veda.

S. SQtras.

SB. Sadvih^a-Brabmana.

Spr. Indiscbo SprUcbe (B{$btlingk).

SV. Sama-Veda^

TA. Taittiriya-Aranyaka.

TB. Taittirfya-Brabmana.

TPr. TaittirTya-PratiQakhya.

I'ribb. Tribbasyaratna (comm. to

TS. Taittiriya-Sambita.

U. Upanisads.

V. Vedas' (RV., AV., SV).

Vas. Vaaistba.

VBS. Varaba-Brbat-Sambita.

Vet. Vetalapancavin^atl.

Vikr. Vikramorva^i

VPr. Vajasaneyi-PratlQakhya.

VS. Vajaseneyi-Sairfbita.

VS. Ean. do. Eanva-text

Y. Tiyftavalkya.

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^^' 1. Thb natives of India write their ancient and sacred
language in a variety of alphabets — generally, in each
part of the country, in the same alphabet which they use
for their own vernacular. The mode of writing, however,
which is employed throughout the heart of Aryan India, or
in Hindustan proper, is alone adopted by European scholars:
it is called the devanagari.

a. This name is of doubtful origin and value. A more comprehensive
name is nSgari (perhaps, of the city) ; and deva-nftgari is nfigari of
the goda^ or of the Brahmans.

2. Much that relates to the history of the Indian alphabets is still
obscnre. The earliest written monuments of known date in the country are
the inscriptions containing the edicts of A9oka or Piyadasi, of about the
middle of the third century B. G. They are in two different systems of
characterit, of which one shows distinct signs of derivation from a Semitic
sourcei while the other is also probably, though much less evidently, of the
same origin. From the latter, the Lath, or Southern A^oka character (of
Girnar), come the later Indian alphabets, both those of the northern Aryan
languages and those of the southern Dravidian languages. The nSgari,
devan&gari, Bengali, GuzeratT, and others, are varieties of its northern
derivatives; and with them are related some of the alphabets of peoples
outside of India — as in Tibet and Farther India — who have adopted Hindu
culture or religion.

a. There is reason to believe that writing was first employed in India
for practical purposes — for correspondence and business and the like —
and only by degrees came to be applied also to literary use. The literature,
to a great extent, and the more fully in proportion to its claimed sanctity
and authority, ignores all written record, and assumes to be kept in existence
by oral tradition alone.

Whitney, Orammar. 3. ed. 1

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1. Alphabet.

3. Of the devanftgari itself there are minor varieties, depending on
diiferenees of locality or of period, as also of indiTidual hand (see examples
in Webei's catalogue of the Berlin Sanskrit MSS., in Rajendxalala Mitra's
notices of MSS. in Indian libraries, in the published fac-similes of in-
scriptions, and so on); and these are in some measure reflected in the type
prepared for priutiug. both in India and in Europe. But a student who
makes himself familiar with one style of printed characters will have little
difficulty with the others, and will soon learn, by practice, to read the manu-
scripts. A few specimens of types other than those used in this work are
given in Appendix A.

a. On account of the difficulty of combining them with the smaller sizes
of our Roman and Italic type, the devanftgaii characters are used below only
in connection with the first or largest size. And, in accordance with the
laudable usage of recent grammars, they are, wherever given, also trans-
literated, in darendon letters ; while the latter alone are used in the other

Online LibraryWilliam Dwight WhitneyA Sanskrit grammar : including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brahmana → online text (page 2 of 59)