Week 8 Queries

This forum is for queries and related discussions with respect to the Sanskrit Webinar Class conducted by Dr Varun.

Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Dear All,

Hari Om!

This week we finished with it-saṁjñā. Please post all your questions related to this week's class under this topic heading.

In case you missed this week's class, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/kMwURBlrOes

You can find the notes and homework for this week in the Google Drive folder called "Week 08" here -- https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B275bhG7zi2zd1NsSF9Ddl9TUkU

You can also find the answers from last week's homework under the "Week 07" folder at the same Google Drive link as above.

All the best!

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby shivanair » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:52 am

Why go through the process of identifying the 'it' etc when we can have them already washed up according to the sutras?
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby mpprabhu » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:14 pm

नमस्कार वरुणजी -

One of the dhatu example that you showed was ओँलस्जीँ. In the week 7 homework, it appears as ओँलसजीँ. Which one is correct?

Regards
प्रफुल्ल
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby Ammasbhavana » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:32 am

Where can I find answers to lesson 7 homework and the assignment for
lesson 8 homework please?
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby Vasishta » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:49 am

Hari Om,

I have a hypothetical question: suppose the one before the last letter is a nasalised vowel and the last one is a consonant (hal). So they both get it-samjna and during clean up they both drop out. Suppose there was only one more sound, an initial consonant. Does that mean that we will be left with just one consonant without any vowel? Will we have to substitute something else so the one consonant will become pronouncable?

Namaste, Ester
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby Usha05 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:02 pm

Dear Varunji,
I was looking for the answers for homework for week 7, no matter how we do it , but to commpare it with the right version , i would love to get the right answers for peace of my mind , that we are doing things right way and learning the language right.
Also the other thing I noticed, Discussion Forum has old and new dates mixed for particular week query, can it be in date order so what we have looked already, don't have to go and read again same thing for that week. New questions/answers should not be mixed into it again, by changing colour or font or any other way, and we don't have to go all over again to see what we already have read.
If someone missing something, related to that week's query, either it can go in steps, i.e., 1,2,3,4 etc., can be much easier, than going all over again reading all the posts for that week, I hope i have explained my point clearly.
Language is tough for many new people, it will make easier for all of us.
Special thanks and regards,
usha
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby subodhkunte » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:02 pm

Hari Om Varun ji,

You said that 1.3.6-1.3.8 Sutras are only for pratyayas, but the sutras 1.3.2-1.3.7 apply to both dhatus and pratyayas. Do you mean that 1.3.6 and 1.3.7 apply to dhatus as well? Though it is stated that these apply for the beginning of pratyayas! Also likewise, the 1.3.4 should only apply to the end of pratyayas and not dhatus. And 1.3.8 does not apply to 'tad-dhit pratyaya'. what does it mean? probably I missed it earlier. Thank you for your help.

Regards
Subodh
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby ianr » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:36 pm

Hi Varun

Well, surprisingly I got the general notion you conveyed. In fact, you have improved your presentation. The chants were audible without the chorus of people like me, groping to understand, tuning in but messing up the diction.

But I am wondering after eight weeks what I have learnt! I thought I was learning Sanskrit, rather than Sanskrit grammar, which is a meta-language and actually a different thing. It occurred to me that Panini is really speaking to people who ALREADY speak the language. So often you introduce high level terms that presuppose a basic knowledge of Sanskrit. It is almost the difference between analogue and digital representation: you'd present the latter, but people learn initially with the former - impressions that are repeated in a generalised fashion but initiate conversation/dialogue. Once you have some basic notions, you can streamline the process and then the digital/ generative process begins to produce savings, efficiency and heightened accuracy.

And so in the 'baby washing process' you introduce terms that haven't been covered such as endings relating to pronouns - I guess at what you are talking at because of the labels in English but haven't learnt these in Sanskrit. And so we are supposed to be able to detect these to exclude the 'it' marker. However, we have NOT defined them, so you are basically expecting us to do the impossible. (A friend of mine mentioned that this is typical of Indian education and why it is turned into an exercise of pacification rather than activation.) Logically, you must not introduce a structure that hasn't been predetermined/defined specifically. Think about the labels you use, which are very often composite terms. Admittedly, you have been breaking down terms more but there are still gaps (I remember in the second operation how the term for vowel is somehow hidden in the terms, only becoming appearing when you separate the construction.), that leave learners lost and desperately trying to grasp concepts that should be explained, building up from the fundamentals. In this way we become teacher dependent!!!

Let's look at another example of building dependence rather than independence. In the previous exercise, we were to mark 'it' in fifty terms (if I counted correctly) that you didn't identify. Surely, some indication of the meanings of the terms should have been included. People aren't computers. They like to work with meaningful concepts.

And so the most obvious point, are we supposed to walk around with Panini's works at hand to be able to decipher a term? Surely, Sanskrit speakers never imagined this as they stood for an oral tradition. Presumably, there must have been a more natural human-friendly approach.

A last point, I have been doing my best to understand all this at the expense of 'normal' life and activities. Where are the returns? Up until now, I haven't seen any and should this trend continue I will die of starvation. In terms of evolutionary theory, for example, every stage had to bring some sort of benefit. Where are the benefits of what we have learnt so far? Structuring sound is one of them, but washing babies - verbal processes that for us learners haven't been conceived of - is asking a lot. And the ones you have mentioned seem very obscure and unnatural - just saying. What about the verb 'be'! This has been alluded to but not properly introduced.

In sum, great (sophisticated) lessons in meta language without much real language. No wonder this has been a headache.

That said, thank you for working at this. The subject is interesting but needs further refining.

Ian
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:00 pm

shivanair wrote:Why go through the process of identifying the 'it' etc when we can have them already washed up according to the sutras?


Dear shivanair,

Hari Om!

Good question. I answered this in the discussion for Week 07, so I will just copy/paste the answer here.

Each letter that we will ultimately clean off from the verbal root tells us something we will need to know later. For example, you go to your friend's house in a car. Even though ultimately only you, not your car, needed to reach your friend's house, you still needed a car to get there! So if someone asks, hey, why did you need the car? After all, it is only you that needs to reach your friend's house, right? Well, you needed the car because it was what took you to your friend's house. You couldn't reach there by yourself.

Similarly, the verbal roots on their own don't have any direction, they don't know which pratyayas to attach to, they don't know how to attach, etc. The it-saṁjñā letters, or the letters with the it-flag on them will tell us where to go. They are like the car that will take the dhātu to its final destination -- a word that we can actually speak. You'll see as we go on how these it-saṁjñā letters help us. Not to worry.

All the best,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:01 pm

mpprabhu wrote:नमस्कार वरुणजी -

One of the dhatu example that you showed was ओँलस्जीँ. In the week 7 homework, it appears as ओँलसजीँ. Which one is correct?

Regards
प्रफुल्ल


Dear प्रफुल्ल जी,

Hari Om!

Good catch! Have fixed it in the homework for week 07. The correct one is ओँलस्जीँ.

Thanks,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:03 pm

Ammasbhavana wrote:Where can I find answers to lesson 7 homework and the assignment for
lesson 8 homework please?


Hari Om Ammasbhavana,

You can find everything here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B275bhG7zi2zd1NsSF9Ddl9TUkU

All the best,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:05 pm

Vasishta wrote:Hari Om,

I have a hypothetical question: suppose the one before the last letter is a nasalised vowel and the last one is a consonant (hal). So they both get it-samjna and during clean up they both drop out. Suppose there was only one more sound, an initial consonant. Does that mean that we will be left with just one consonant without any vowel? Will we have to substitute something else so the one consonant will become pronouncable?

Namaste, Ester


Dear Ester ji,

Hari Om!

Excellent question, and the answer you have proposed is exactly correct. You would be left with a consonant without any vowel. You don't need to pronounce it, for inevitably something will happen to it, or it will be attached to something, to make it pronounceable. If you have to refer to it, then you can just pronounce it with a semi-अ sound through your teeth so that people know what you're talking about.

Hope this helps,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:09 pm

Usha05 wrote:Dear Varunji,
I was looking for the answers for homework for week 7, no matter how we do it , but to commpare it with the right version , i would love to get the right answers for peace of my mind , that we are doing things right way and learning the language right.
Also the other thing I noticed, Discussion Forum has old and new dates mixed for particular week query, can it be in date order so what we have looked already, don't have to go and read again same thing for that week. New questions/answers should not be mixed into it again, by changing colour or font or any other way, and we don't have to go all over again to see what we already have read.
If someone missing something, related to that week's query, either it can go in steps, i.e., 1,2,3,4 etc., can be much easier, than going all over again reading all the posts for that week, I hope i have explained my point clearly.
Language is tough for many new people, it will make easier for all of us.
Special thanks and regards,
usha


Dear Usha ji,

Hari Om!

I have uploaded the answers to week 07 homework on the Google Drive link under the week 07 --> "Answers" folder here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B275bhG7zi2zd1NsSF9Ddl9TUkU

As for the Discussion Forum query, if you could please send this in an email to sanskrit.webinar@chinfo.org as well as arvindkannan@chinfo.org (our IT support), that would be really helpful, so that we can work on this issue.

Thank you,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:15 pm

subodhkunte wrote:Hari Om Varun ji,

You said that 1.3.6-1.3.8 Sutras are only for pratyayas, but the sutras 1.3.2-1.3.7 apply to both dhatus and pratyayas. Do you mean that 1.3.6 and 1.3.7 apply to dhatus as well? Though it is stated that these apply for the beginning of pratyayas! Also likewise, the 1.3.4 should only apply to the end of pratyayas and not dhatus. And 1.3.8 does not apply to 'tad-dhit pratyaya'. what does it mean? probably I missed it earlier. Thank you for your help.

Regards
Subodh


Dear Subodh ji,

Hari Om!

Good catch! My mistake. I have fixed it in the notes for week 08 now. It should be clear there. To clarify here, though, 1.3.2, 1.3.3, and 1.3.5 apply to धातुs and प्रत्ययs, and 1.3.4 and 1.3.6-8 apply only to प्रत्ययs. Don't worry about 1.3.8 not applying to तद्धित प्रत्ययs for now; it is something that will only come up much later (and not in this course). It will come up in a future level of this course. Basically तद्धित is a type of प्रत्यय that creates a derivative noun (a derivative form of another noun). For example, the son of दशरथ is called दाशरथी. The second word, दाशरथी, is said to be a "तद्धित form" of दशरथ, which simply means it is a noun derived from the word दशरथ.

All the best,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby VarunKhanna » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:50 pm

ianr wrote:Hi Varun

Well, surprisingly I got the general notion you conveyed. In fact, you have improved your presentation. The chants were audible without the chorus of people like me, groping to understand, tuning in but messing up the diction.

But I am wondering after eight weeks what I have learnt! I thought I was learning Sanskrit, rather than Sanskrit grammar, which is a meta-language and actually a different thing. It occurred to me that Panini is really speaking to people who ALREADY speak the language. So often you introduce high level terms that presuppose a basic knowledge of Sanskrit. It is almost the difference between analogue and digital representation: you'd present the latter, but people learn initially with the former - impressions that are repeated in a generalised fashion but initiate conversation/dialogue. Once you have some basic notions, you can streamline the process and then the digital/ generative process begins to produce savings, efficiency and heightened accuracy.

And so in the 'baby washing process' you introduce terms that haven't been covered such as endings relating to pronouns - I guess at what you are talking at because of the labels in English but haven't learnt these in Sanskrit. And so we are supposed to be able to detect these to exclude the 'it' marker. However, we have NOT defined them, so you are basically expecting us to do the impossible. (A friend of mine mentioned that this is typical of Indian education and why it is turned into an exercise of pacification rather than activation.) Logically, you must not introduce a structure that hasn't been predetermined/defined specifically. Think about the labels you use, which are very often composite terms. Admittedly, you have been breaking down terms more but there are still gaps (I remember in the second operation how the term for vowel is somehow hidden in the terms, only becoming appearing when you separate the construction.), that leave learners lost and desperately trying to grasp concepts that should be explained, building up from the fundamentals. In this way we become teacher dependent!!!

Let's look at another example of building dependence rather than independence. In the previous exercise, we were to mark 'it' in fifty terms (if I counted correctly) that you didn't identify. Surely, some indication of the meanings of the terms should have been included. People aren't computers. They like to work with meaningful concepts.

And so the most obvious point, are we supposed to walk around with Panini's works at hand to be able to decipher a term? Surely, Sanskrit speakers never imagined this as they stood for an oral tradition. Presumably, there must have been a more natural human-friendly approach.

A last point, I have been doing my best to understand all this at the expense of 'normal' life and activities. Where are the returns? Up until now, I haven't seen any and should this trend continue I will die of starvation. In terms of evolutionary theory, for example, every stage had to bring some sort of benefit. Where are the benefits of what we have learnt so far? Structuring sound is one of them, but washing babies - verbal processes that for us learners haven't been conceived of - is asking a lot. And the ones you have mentioned seem very obscure and unnatural - just saying. What about the verb 'be'! This has been alluded to but not properly introduced.

In sum, great (sophisticated) lessons in meta language without much real language. No wonder this has been a headache.

That said, thank you for working at this. The subject is interesting but needs further refining.

Ian


Dear Ian ji,

Hari Om!

Thank you for your very helpful, extensive feedback. I'm sorry that this course is giving you a headache! However, I made it quite clear in the flyer for this course, as well as in the beginning of this course that it is not a spoken Sanskrit class. I don't expect you to know spoken Sanskrit, either, though it is always helpful to be able to speak a language to understand its grammar more fully.

As for the content of what I teach, I have made a conscious effort to explain everything that you need to know with enough detail. I never introduce something without defining it, unless I am about to define it immediately after introducing it. If you don't understand something right now, it's only because you don't really have to understand it to move forward. If there is something you absolutely have to know to keep going, I will spend plenty of time on it, so you can rest assured that it would be covered properly before you need to use it. If there is something you didn't understand and want to understand, or if I didn't explain something enough for you, you can always ask about it in the discussion forum. That's what it is for!

We will get to the meanings of all the धातुs soon. And how to look them up, so you don't need to depend on me to tell you the meaning of every धातु.

As for learning Sanskrit vs. Sanskrit grammar, they are only two different things at the surface. The whole culture of Sanskrit is contained in Sanskrit grammar. The way that the ancients would have thought about the relationship between language and the world, the way they would have solved problems, the way they would have visualized their universe -- it is all here. These are all insights you should already have started gaining through this class. It is only because I am trying to make sure that people who don't know anything at all are able to follow along with the class that we are going a little slowly. At the beginning of learning anything, it takes some time for the full picture to materialize in your head. This is the case with Sanskrit too. There is no magic wand for learning Sanskrit, though the method that my teacher has developed is as close to one as we can get. Learning Sanskrit grammar will help you understand Sanskrit at its deepest level, even (or especially) when you read, but it will take some time. Have patience.

To your last point -- you should definitely not be sacrificing your normal life and activities for this class. If you find that this is happening, please pause the class and take care of life. That is more important than anything. You can view these lectures at any time on YouTube.

Your previous messages have helped to improve the class, and so will this one. Thank you again for taking the time to write it!

All the best,

Varun
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby ckpatel » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:35 am

Hello Varun ji!

Your assertive, clear and patient way of taking the students on the path of Sanskrit grammar learning is simply commendable! At times the pace may seem slow, but given the number of students and that too with varying background, and mostly novice (like me) as far as Sanskrit grammar is concerned, is totally justifiable! Keep it up!

Now, having reached the end of it-samhna-prakaranam, a question comes to my mind -

Couldn't the sutra 1.3.2 upadeshejanunasik it have been just upadeshejanunaski lopah ? That way, the remaining sutras - 1.3.3 to 1.3.8 could remain exactly the way they are, and the last one 1.3.9 tasya lopah been completely eliminated?

Thanks,
Chandu
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby Ripersa » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:50 am

in sutra 1.3.5 why does टु only mean the sound tu and not the entire ta varg as in the case of other sutras eg. 1.3.7 where chu means the entire varga. once again i am thoroughly enjoying your enlightening lectures. rishi
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby shiromani » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:43 pm

I found an interesting definition of Upadesa

Pratyayah sivasutrani, adesa agamastatha
dhatupatho gane pathah, upadesah prakirtitah
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby branganathan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:42 am

It is easy to follow that nasalized vowels have to be flagged with इत्. But how do we know which vowels are to be nasalized?
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Re: Week 8 Queries

Postby ianr » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:47 am

Dear Varun

Thanks for your reply to my previous comments. The stumbling block in this lesson 1.3.4 - न विभक्तौ तुस्माः -- But the previous rule does not apply (न) if those consonants (हल्) are त्, थ्, द्, ध्, न्, स्, or म् (तुस्माः) and are found at the end (अन्त्यम्) of a प्रत्यय that indicates a conjugation of a verb or a declension of a noun (विभक्तौ). (There are 18 verbal conjugation प्रत्ययs and 21 nominal declension प्रत्ययs.).

I haven't learned the conjugation of a verb or declension of a noun, let alone 18 and 21 respectively. Hence, how am I to identify them to be able to do the homework? Unless, the consonants mentioned always indicate such endings. Is this the case?

Headache aside (if I don't understand a point, my brain won't rest until I do), I have to give you full marks for your enthusiasm and, when you do break down the terms, which is often clearer in the notes, it makes all the difference. It is at such times, that you could take things a little slower, for the words themselves ARE very interesting. It takes time to understand how meaning is created/has been conceptualised. This is the truly fascinating part. Learning how to deconstruct words as well as construct them and determine the meaning is the key, after all. And, yes, this process is all about a shift in thinking - and a big shift at that. Hence, it is no wonder that it doesn't come easy:-) In a way, it is mind-shattering stuff...

Thanks for all your good work and patience answering

Ian
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