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Other Compounds | Learn Sanskrit Online

Other Compounds

Introduction!

If the word bhagavadgītā sums up the chapter, then the relation between bhagavat and gītā sums up this part of it.

We already know that the word bhagavadgītā is a case 6 tatpurusha compound, but we have not studied the other parts of the tatpurusha in detail. Moreover, we have only studied one of the four Sanskrit compounds.

But how, really, does one compound differ from another? To understand this, we have to start with the idea that a compound is either an idea or a qualifier of some idea. (The word "idea" is used here because not all compounds are nouns, and the word "qualifier" means anything from "characteristic" to "state" and "behavior.") Similary, each of the compound's two words can be either an idea or a qualifier of that idea. To review, a compound has two (2) words, each of which can be one of two (2) types. So, we have four (4) different types of compounds.

Let's try to classify the tatpurusha in this scheme. To do so, let's turn to an example: dharmakṣetra, a compound we've seen many times. A dharmakṣetra is still a kṣetra; so, kṣetra represents the "idea" of the compound. But a dharmakṣetra is in no way a sort of dharma; so, dharma represents the "qualifier" of the compound. We can place the tatpurusha accordingly:

 Word 2: IdeaWord 2: Qualifier
Word 1: Idea??????
Word 1: Qualifiertatpurusha???

In this chapter, we will study the three other types of compounds and fill in the chart above. But to understand these compounds, we must also understand some other parts of Sanskrit grammar. We will study these parts, too.

Verb prefixes

In this chapter, we will study 6 more prefixes, bringing our total to 18. There are two others beyond these 18, but they are uncommon. As a reminder, you can use the prefixes list in the References section of the site if you want to review.