Vibhaktayaḥ - Case-Suffixes

A sentence comprises two kinds of words - The subanta and the tiṅanta. The subantas, so called because they end in any of the suffixes collectively known as sup, are the nominal words while the tiṅantas, ending in any of the tiṅ suffixes constitute the main verb in a sentence. It has been mentioned earlier that a nominal word is formed from a nominal root. The suppratyayas, su, au, jas etc., altogether twentyone in number, join with the prātipadikas or the nominal stems to form the nominal word or subanta. the suppratyayas are, in fact, case- affixes with which the stem is declined to form the noun. There are seven cases in Sanskrit, in three numbers, resulting in twentyone word - forms of each stem, representing the different relations of a nominal word to the verb in a sentence.

Examples -Rāmaḥ vadati . Adhyāpakaḥ Rāmaṃ vadati . Adhyāpakaḥ Rāmeṇa Hariṃ vādayati. Adhyāpakaḥ Rāmāya vadati - Rāma speaks. The teacher speaks to Rāma . The teacher causes Hari to speak, through Rāma. The teacher speaks for Rāma

In these sentences one can see different forms of the same nominal stem Rāma . The differences are due to the difference in contexts. These forms are obtained by adding the the different case - suffixes to the stem.

As mentioned, there are seven cases in Sanskrit and they are named prathamā, dvitīyā, tṛtīyā, caturthī, pañcamī, ṣaṣṭhī and saptamī, literally, the 'first case', the 'second case', thre 'third case' etc., each corresponding to the Nominal case, the Accusative case, the Instrumental, the Dative, the Ablative, the Genitive and the Locative. The first case also has a variation, the sambodhanaprathamā, which forms the Vocative case and so it is not enumerated separately.

The twentyone case -suffixes are as follows -

Vibhakti         Cases ---> Numbers Ekavacanam           Dvivacanam    Bahuvacanam

                 |

                V                                 Singular              Dual                 Plural

Prathamā    Nominative                su(s)                          au               jas (as)

Dvitīyā        Accusative                 am                              auṭ (au)                   śas(as)

Tṛtīyā          Instrumental                          ṭā(ā)                             bhyām                   bhis

Caturthī      Dative                                    ṅe(e)                            bhyām                   bhyas

Pañcamī     Ablative                       ṅasi(as)                       bhyām                   bhyas

ṣaṣṭhī                   Genitive                      ṅas(as)                        os                           ām

Saptamī      Locative                      ṅi                                  os                           sup     

Sambodhana-

prathamā    Vocative                      su(s)                            au                           jas

The Bālaprabodhinī in Malayālam has versified the names of the seven case-suffixes so that they can easily be committed to memory -

prathamā ca dvitīyā ca tṛtīyā ca caturthyapi

pañcamī ṣaṣṭhiyuṃ saptamyevameḻu vibhaktikaḷ

The First and the Second and then comes theThird

The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and then,

The Seventh follows them

and thus the case-suffixes, total up to Seven

The Nominative, Accusative, Instrumental and Dative

The Ablativ , the Genitive and then the last, Locative

All these together form the Seven different cases

In which the nominal stems are declined, to get different senses.

The different senses of the case-suffixes:

അതെന്നു പ്രഥമൈക്കര്ഥം ദ്വിതീയൈക്കതിനേ പുനഃ

അതിനോടതിലേക്കെന്നും...

atennu prathamaikkarthaṃ dvitīyaikkatine punaḥ

atinoṭatilekkennuṃ...

The Nominative case suffix, the First, represents the Subject

In the Active Voice it denotes 'He', 'She' and 'That' .

The Second, Accusative suffix, stands for the Object

and denotes 'to', 'Him', "Her' and also, ‘That'

The Instrumental, Third suffix represents the Cause

and gives the sense of 'By' and also, 'With'

The Dative case- suffix is, for the fourth

and thus it stands for the meaning of 'For'

The Ablative Fifth denotes

separation ' from' -

and also the Cause

And so its suffix gives the senses

of 'From' and 'Because'

The Genitive Case stands for the sense

of Possession, and thus,

the Sixth case suffix means

'amidst','His' 'Its', and 'Hers'

and also 'of' 'mine' and 'yours'

The Locative case locates for us ,

of course, the location

The Seventh case- suffix, therefore,

means 'amidst', 'on', 'upon' and 'in'.

Examples -

First case       He (Subject)              bālaḥ           the child

Second          Him(Object)              bālam              the child

                                                           Bālam              to the child

                                                 gṛham                       to the house

Third               By (cause)                bālenaby the child

                        With (instrument)     bāṇena            with the arrow

                        (Along) with              bālenaalong with the child

                        With /Through         bālena            with / through the child

                        Through                    vanena            through the forest

Fourth             For                             bālāyafor the child

Fifth                From                          vanāt               from the forest

Than

(comparative degree etc)                bālāt              than the child                       

Sixth               Among                    bālānām          among the chlidren 

                        Belonging to / of    mama              mine

                                                          tava                  yours

                                                        sītāyāḥ            of sītā

                                                        bālasya            of the child

Seventh         Amidst                 bāleṣu      among chidren

                        on                         bāle          on the child

                        upon                    satye         upon truth

                        in                          gṛhe          in the house

                        object of desire   mokṣe     desire on Salvation

The First Case suffix

This case suffix denotes that sense of the word which is perceived as soon as it is uttered, thatis, the sense of the Nominal stem. Normally, this case belongs to the agent of the action in Active Voice - Apart from this sense, the first case suffix also expresses the gender, measure, and number. Respective examples are -

                                    Rāmaḥ, vṛkṣaḥ, paśuḥ...

                                    naraḥ, nārī, pustakam, taṭaḥ, taṭī, taṭam...

                                    droṇaḥ

                                    ekaḥ, dve, trīṇi, catvāraḥ ...

Examples -

bālakaḥ krīḍati                      bālakau vadataḥ                              bālakāḥ dhāvanti

vanitā nṛtyati                          vanite hasataḥ                                  vanitāḥ paśyanti

nadī pravahati                       nadyau pravahataḥ                          nadyaḥ pravahanti

kaviḥ kāvyaṃ racayati         kavayaḥ parasparaṃ vivadante guruḥ pāṭhayati

dhenavaḥ caranti                 madhu kānane bhavati               nauḥ mandaṃ calati   

pitaraḥ svaputrān samyakpālayanti                                  vācaḥ madhurā bhavanti 

vaṇijau ekatra tiṣṭhanti        rājā janān rakṣati                       ahaṃ mandire tiṣṭhāmi              āvāṃ citraṃ paśyāvaḥ       vayaṃ gītaṃ gāyāmaḥ        tvaṃ saṃskṛtam paṭhasi  

yuvāṃ ślokān likhatha         yūyaṃ śāṭikāṃ krīṇītha                   saḥ sadā cintayati               

tau pūjāṃ kurutaḥ                te vṛthā kupyanti                   brahmā bhaktamanugṛhṇāti

bālikā hasati                    te adhyāpike adhyāpayataḥ           tāḥ vāṭikāḥ śobhante                  rājānaḥ yuddhaṃ kurvanti     vidvān vedikāyāmupaviśati    bhavantaḥ kutra vasanti ?

vidvāṃsaḥ vākyārthavicāraṃ kurvanti                    dhīmān sarvatra vijayaṃ labhate           

The Second Case-Suffix

That which the agent of an action in a sentence wishes to attain the most through that action is called the object of the sentence. This object takes the Accusative case in the Active Voice and the Nominative case in the Passive Voice. in the sentence 'Rāmaḥ vidyālayaṃ gacchati’ - Rāma goes to School, the destination School - Vidyālaya is what Rāma wishes to attain through the action of 'going'. Hence, the word 'vidyālaya' denoting School takes the Accusative case.

Examples:-

adhyāpakaḥ bālaṃ pṛcchati   rāghavaḥ kṛṣṇaṃ paśyati               Mātā sītāmāhvayati

pitā putrīṃ lālayati                       bhaktaḥ devaṃ namati       bālaḥ mṛgān paśyati

tātaḥ sutāṃ tāḍayati                   śiṣyaḥ gurūn vandate            gopālakaḥ dhenuṃ karṣati pitā putramāliṅgati                               bālakāḥ jalaṃ pibanti                    gāyikā kavitāḥ ālapati

janāḥ varṣāyai jalamucaṃ prārthayanti                                       bālike mātaraṃ vadataḥ

bhaktāḥ pratidinaṃ stotrāṇi vācayeyuḥ                                     rājānaḥ śatrūn saṃharant devī bhaktau praśnamapṛcchat                                    muniḥ snānārthaṃ nadīṃ gacchati

devāḥ brahmāṇam ayācanta                              paṇḍitasya vācaṃ śrutvā sarve vismitāḥ

vayaṃ sarve gṛham agacchāma                                   mahākaviṃ dṛṣṭvā sajjanā atuṣyan chātrāḥ vedān apaṭhan  mama pitā gāḥ akrīṇāt   bhavān krupayā matim parivarttayatu

janāḥ sulabhatayā vāri labhante                    nṛpah kenacitkāraṇena senānyamatādayat madhumakṣikāḥ śīghraṃ madhūni sañcinvanti                               āvāṃ vāṭikāṃ prāpnuvaḥ

The Third Case Suffix

In a sentence, whatever is most instrumental in accomplishing the action denoted by the verb is called the karaṇa or the Instrument. Normally, that without which an action does not take place despite the Subject and the object being present, is the instrument. Although there may be a picture and the spectator, the action of 'viewing' cannot take place in the absence of eyes and viewing does take place too, in the presence of eyes. Therfore, eyes are the instrument for the act of viewing. 'Bālaḥ netrābhyāṃ citraṃ paśyati' - Boy looks at the picture with his eyes. In this sentence, 'Boy' is the Subject, 'picture' the object and the 'eyes' are the instrument for the act of 'looking'.

Examples-

adhyāpakaḥ sudhākhaṇḍena likhati                     bālaḥ mārgeṇa sañcarati

Kṛṣṇena kaṃsaḥ hataḥ                                           vidyā pariśrameṇa labhyate

bhagavataḥ darśanaṃ puṇyena bhavati              rāmaḥ dakṣiṇena karena likhati

ahaṃ mitrena saha vidyālayaṃ gacchāmi           jalena vinā jīvanam aśakyam

saraḥ kamalena vibhāti                                           śāntiḥ śraddhayā eva kathāṃ paṭhati

guḍena miśritamannaṃ svādu bhavati                tvaṃ kena yānena gṛhaṃ gacchasi?

ayaṃ mālākāraḥ iti kusumaiḥ jñāyate               samudreṇa lālitaḥ bhavati bhāratadeśaḥ

Kṛṣṇaḥ vanamālābhiḥ bhūṣitaḥ asti                     vidyayā hīnaḥ janaḥ na śobhate

āvāṃ gītayā prabuddhau                                        mama mātā pitrā saha mandiraṃ gatā

tvam netrābhyāṃ paśyasi                                       vayaṃ kandukena krīḍāmah

yūyaṃ kusumaiḥ alaṃkāraṃ kurutha                   saḥ dhenubhiḥ jīvati                       

dilīpaḥ rājamārgena gacchati                                 bhārataṃ keraladeśena vibhāti

putreṇa sohitaḥ pitā                                                sabhā vidvadbhiḥ śobhate

The Fourth Case-suffix

That person or thing for the sake of whom the agent of an action does that action takes the fourth case. chātraḥpaṭhanāya vidyālayaṃ gacchati - Student goes to school for studies. Here the act of 'going to School' is performed by the student f 'for the sake' of Studies and hence the word denoting studies gets the fourth case-affix.

Examples

janāḥ kṣīrāya dhenuṃ pālayanti                       adhyāpakaḥ śiṣyāya vidyāṃ yacchati mahārājāḥ paṇḍitāya pāritoṣikaṃ dadāti    ācāryaḥ śiṣyāya upāyanaṃ dadāti

nadī sarvebhyaḥ jantubhyaḥ madhuraṃ jalaṃ yacchati           rāmāya namaḥ         

rathavāhakaḥ aśvebhyah tṛṇamānayat                jananī putrebhyaḥ bhojanaṃ pacati sarve janā ātmaśāntaye yatante                          sarvā nadyaḥ paropakārāya eva vahanti saṃskṛtapaṭhanaṃ puṇyāya bhavati                  bhrātā svasre pāṭhapustakam anayati                  

bhagavate vāsudevāya namaḥ                  guruḥ asatyavādine antevāsine krudhyati

vaktṛbhyaḥ svasti                           ātaṅkavādinaḥ sādhubhyaḥ janebhyaḥ druhyanti

idaṃ dugdhaṃ bālāya alam                      deśasya rakṣitā ekasmai sainikāya akupyat

yuvā suvarṇāya spṛhyati                                       sarvebhyaḥ rājabhyaḥ mṛgayā rocate bubhukṣitebhyaḥ annam rocate                        viduṣe rājā suvarṇamudrāṃ prayacchati

agnaye ājyaṃ samarpayāmi                                           taskaraḥ prātiveśikāya asūyati

The Fifth Case-suffix

That from which something is separated, that with which something is compared, that which is a cause of something --all these senses are expressed by the fifth case suffix.

in the sentence vṛkṣāt phalaṃ patati - The fruit falls from the tree, there is separation of the fruit from the tree, therefore, the word denoting the 'tree' takes the fifth case.

Examples

bhaṭaḥ aśvāt patati(separation)

rākeśaḥ rameśāt sundaraḥ asti(superiority in comparison)                  

kāmāt krodho'pi jāyate (cause)                             

śakaṭaḥ nagarāt bahirgacchati       idaṃ relyānaṃ kanyākumāryāḥ karṇāṭakaṃ gacchati jalāt vaidyutimutpādayati                                chātrāḥ vidyālayāt susaṃskṛtiṃ labhante   

nadyaḥ himālayāt prabhavanti                   kastūrimṛgāt kastūrī jāyate  vedebhyaḥ sarvaṃ vijñānaṃ prāpyate                                    ahaṃ rātrau gṛhāt bahiḥ na gacchāmi tricakrikāyāḥ śīghratā lokayānasya asti                  moṣṭā ārakṣakāt bibheti      kṛṣṇāt rāmaḥ śreṣṭhaḥ asti 

nadyaḥ sarasaḥ adhikaṃ pravahanti                             gajāḥ sarasaḥ paṅkajāni troṭayanti devāḥ brahmaṇaḥ varaṃ labhante                          bālaḥ mātuḥ prathamaśikṣāṃ labhate

daridrāḥ dātṛbhyaḥ dhanaṃ prāpnuvanti                      yātrikaḥ nāvaḥ adhaḥ apatatsarve sūryāt eva ūrjaṃ labhante         nabhasaḥ varṣiṣyati                               vṛkṣāt puṣpāni patanti

tārakāsuraḥ bhagavataḥ varaṃ prāpya devān apīḍayat                 mat balavattaraḥ kaḥ ?

The Sixth Case suffix

The sixthe case suffix is used tio express the relation betweem two or more nominal words. These relations can be of the nature of the Possessor and the Possessed, Parent and the offspring, the Part and the Whole etc.sītāyāḥ dvau putrau āstām - there were two sons of sītā - Here, the Parent - Offspring relation of Sītā and her two sons is expressed by the sixth case in the word Sītā.

Examples

daśarathasya tisraḥ bhāryāḥ āsan                                                  Rādhāyāḥ haste pustakam asti

sugrīvaḥ rāmasya mitram āsīt                                           devānām indraḥ prabalaḥ bhavati

mama nāma ’sudhā’ iti bhavati                                    haṃsasya varṇaḥ śvetaḥ bhavati         Rāmāyaṇasya karttā vālmīkiḥ                          Bhāratasya uttarasyāṃ diśi himālayaḥ asti kanyākumāryāḥ saundaryaṃ sarveṣāṃ manāṃsi harati         tvam viduṣāṃ gaṇaṃ paśya

bhānoḥ prakāśaḥ bhūmiṃ spṛśati                                    ahaṃ tava pustakaṃ paṭhāmi vṛkṣasya adhaḥ pattrāṇi santi                    mama gṛhasya dakṣiṇataḥ ekā nadī asti sītāyāḥ dvau putrau staḥ                                                    kāśyāḥ dṛśyaṃ pūrvaṃ sundaramāsīt

mātṝṇāṃ samitiḥ śiśusaṃrakṣaṇaṃ karoti                                    sarveṣāṃ pālakaḥ īśvaraḥ

he devi ! tava caraṇayugaṃ me śaraṇam                                    Ramāyāḥ patiḥ viṣṇuḥ asti    

bhārataśāsanasya rājacihne ’satyameva jayate’ iti likhitamasti          

vadhūnām ābharaṇaśālā atra asti                                      bhavataḥ gṛhaṃ kutra varttate ?

dhenoḥ / dhenvāḥ kṣīraṃ svādu bhavati                           pakṣiṇāṃ śreṣṭhaḥ garuḍaḥ asti

naiyāyikāḥ manasaḥ aṇutvaṃ kalpayanti

The Seventh Case suffix

The Seventh case affix is used to denote the substratum of a person or thing. haste pustakaṃm asti - the book is in the hand. Here, the hand is the substratum on which the book rests, so the word denoting it gets the seventh case suffix.nṛpaḥ siṃhāsane upaviśati - In this sentence, the throne is the substratum of the king, therefore, the word

'siṃhāsana' denoting the throne gets the seventh case suffix.

Examples

ikṣau mādhuryam asti            mokṣe icchā asti                  deveṣu indraḥ śreṣṭhaḥ asti

vṛkṣe śukasya nīḍam asti                            saṃskṛtabhāṣāyāṃ sapta vibhaktayaḥ santi

samudre ratnāni santi               pustakeṣu citrāṇi santi                rātrau induḥ prakāśate

haidarābānnagare bombvisphoṭanam abhavat              kaviṣu kālidāsaḥ śreṣṭhaḥ

ekasmin haste pañca aṅgulyaḥ santi                   rāmāyaṇe varṣāyāḥ varṇanam asti

mama gṛhe aṣṭa janāḥ santi                                  saḥ vane siṃhasya garjanam aśṛṇot vārāṇasyāṃ saṃskṛtakalālayah varttate                                     aham īśvare viśvasimi

vimāne yātriṇaḥ upaviśantu                                          bhīmaḥ śatroḥ keśeṣu gṛhītavān

rāmasya svapitari bhaktirāsīt                                                           gurau jñānaṃ varttate

rājasu rāmaḥ sadguṇasampannaḥ bhavati            idaṃ jagat savitari viśvasya tiṣṭhati

mahābhāratasya bhīṣmaparvaṇi bhagavadgītā asti            haṃsāḥ sarassu viharanti

sā taṃ śirasi atāḍayat                                                                       mātā duhitari snihyati

Locative Absolute

There is a distinct usage in sanskrit called the ’sati- saptamī’ or ’bhāva -saptamī’' which is in fact the Locative Absolute akin to the Nominative absolute of the English language.

In this peculiar usage, a noun or pronoun, generally the subject in the active voice and the object in the Passive, which expresses a thing, the action done or suffered by which indicates the 'time' of another action, is put in the Locative Case, i.e., the time of the first action is supposed to be known, and that of the second which is unknown, is determined with reference to it.

Examples

vyāghre nagaraṃ praviṣṭe janāḥ bhītāḥ abhavan                      

alaṅkṛteṣu gajeṣvāgateṣu śiśavaḥ atuṣyan

bālakayoḥ udyānaṃ praviṣṭayoḥ suhṛdaḥ āgacchan    

saciveṣu samāgateṣu janā hastatāḍanam akurvan

biḍāle āgate śukaḥ pañjaraṃ prāviśat                 

nirvācane āsanne janāḥ utsukāḥ jātāḥ

The Vocative First Case

It has been said before that the Vocative Case is but a variation of the First Case in Sanskrit. This case stands for expressing the idea of addressing someone face-to-face.

he bāla ! gaccha - Hey lad ! Go - Here the lad is accosted face-to face and made to understand that he should go . Hence, the Vocative First.

Examples -

he deva ! māṃ rakṣa                                  he putri ! mā vada            

he Rame! krīḍāmaḥ                                     he śambho ! rakṣa mām

he kave! kāvyaṃ likha                                he janani ! kṣīraṃ yaccha

he amba ! tvameva śaraṇam                      he rājānaḥ ! ājñāpayantu

he putryau ! saṃskṛtaṃ paṭhatam              he mātaḥ ! dhanaṃ prayaccha           

he vaṇik ! kaṅkaṇaṃ darśaya                   he pitaḥ ! ahamatrāsmi

he bhagavan ! varaṃ dehi                   he vidvan ! kathamahaṃ saṃskṛtaṃ paṭhiṣyāmi ?

he chātrāḥ! kolāhalaṃ mā kuruta            he manaḥ ! rāmarasam anubhava |

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