Also known as: kṛt-pratyaya (a special kind of suffix)
In the previous lesson, we learned that a prefix is a group of sounds attached to the front of a word. A group of sounds attached to the end of a word, meanwhile, is called a suffix. In this lesson, we will study some of the suffixes that turn verbs into nouns. Such suffixes are often called primary suffixes because they're the first thing to follow the verb root.
In Sanskrit, there are many different primary suffixes. We'll take a look at the most common ones below. To use a suffix, though, we should know three things about it: its meaning, its gender, and the vowel change it causes.
Now, here is a summary of the suffixes.
|act of doing X||neuter||medium|
|means of doing X||neuter||medium|
For a and ana, the root vowel may sometimes be strengthened to the strongest level if the result would contain the ā vowel.
a is an old and common noun suffix. As part of its complex history, it causes a final cavarga consonant to shift to kavarga.
सर्ज् → सर्ग
sarj → sarga
send forth → creation; the creation of the world
विसर्ज् → विसर्ग
vi-sarj → vi-sarga
send forth → the visarga
जय् → जय
jay → jaya
win, conquer → victory
नय् → नाय
nay → nāya
lead → guidance, direction
आगम् → आगम
āgam → āgama
come, reach → "coming near," acquisition; Agama
This suffix is related to the -os of Greek and the -us of Latin.
ana does not cause the same consonant shift that a does. It's actually quite simple to use: just add it to the end of the root! Although it usually defines the act of doing something — ceremonies and events, usually — it is occasionally used more concretely, as in the second example below.
दर्श् → दर्शन
darś → darśana
see → the act of seeing; darśana
नय् → नयन
nay → nayana
lead → the act of leading or bringing; "that which does leading," i.e. the eye
उपनय् → उपनयन
upa-nay → upa-nayana
lead to oneself → the act of leading to oneself, i.e. the ritual initiation into the study of the Vedas
tra is also a simple suffix. It almost always defines the means of doing something.
नय् → नेत्र
nay → netra
lead → "means of leading," eye
Note the change from ay to e. This change was mentioned when we discussed compound vowel sandhi. To quote:
It's easier to say that the roots of these verbs are bhav and nay, and that's the system we've followed; but, it's just as valid to say that the roots are bho and ne.