Now that our suffixes are in place, it is time to apply any rules that are conditioned by these suffixes. For sārvadhātuka suffixes specifically, there is one particular operation we should learn about: the replacement of the root vowel with its guṇa form:

  • नी अ ते → ने अ ते
    nī a te → ne a te

In this lesson, we will learn more about guṇa and some of the rules that use it.

The first six rules

The first six rules of the Aṣṭādhyāyī are all about guṇa and vṛddhi. The first two rules define the terms guṇa and vṛddhi, and the next four then define how guṇa and vṛddhi interact with other terms:

  • वृद्धिरादैच्। १.१.१
    vṛddhirādaic (1.1.1)
    vṛddhiḥ āt-aic
    The vowels ā, ai, and au are called vṛddhi.

  • अदेङ्गुणः। १.१.२
    adeṅguṇaḥ (1.1.2)
    at-eṅ guṇaḥ
    The vowels a, e, and o are called guṇa.

  • इको गुणवृद्धी। १.१.३
    iko guṇavṛddhī (1.1.3)
    ikaḥ guṇa-vṛddhī
    guṇa and vṛddhi replace the ik vowels,

  • न धातुलोप आर्धधातुके। १.१.४
    na dhātulopa ārdhadhātuke (1.1.4)
    na dhātulope ārdhadhātuke
    but not when followed by an ārdhadhātuka that causes [partial] lopa of the dhātu,

  • क्ङिति च। १.१.५
    kṅiti ca (1.1.5)
    k-ṅiti ca
    or when followed by [terms that are] kit or ṅit,

  • दीधीवेवीटाम्। १.१.६
    dīdhīvevīṭām (1.1.6)
    or when applied to [the roots] dīdhī and vevī, or [the augment] iṭ.

Let's set some of these rules aside. We saw rules 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 in a previous lesson, so we don't need to dwell on them further. And rules 1.1.4 and 1.1.6 are minor, so we can set them aside as well. That leaves us with rules 1.1.3 and 1.1.5.

Rule 1.1.3 defines the basic function of guṇa and vṛddhi vowels: they replace the ik vowels (i, u, ṛ, ḷ). And rule 1.1.4 restricts this substitution: the substitution is blocked if the following term is ṅit or kit.

Which kinds of terms are kit or ṅit? As a small example, the common suffix -ta is stated as kta in the Aṣṭādhyāyī. Because kta is kit, it will not cause guṇa or vṛddhi changes.


There are also several terms that are treated as if they are ṅit suffixes. Those suffixes are defined in the following four atideśa (“analogy”, “extension”) rules. All of these rules are useful, but rule 1.2.4 is our focus here:

  • गाङ्कुटादिभ्योऽञ्णिन्ङित्। १.२.१
    gāṅkuṭādibhyo'ñṇinṅit (1.2.1)
    gāṅ-kuṭ-ādibhyaḥ a-ñ-ṇit ṅit
    The following are ṅit: [a term] after gāṅ and the root list starting with kuṭ, if the term is not ñit or ṇit;

  • विज इट्। १.२.२
    vija iṭ (1.2.2)
    vijaḥ iṭ
    the iṭ after the [root] vij;

  • विभाषोर्णोः। १.२.३
    vibhāṣorṇoḥ (1.2.3)
    vibhāṣā ūṛṇoḥ
    optionally, [the iṭ after the root] ūrṇu;

  • सार्वधातुकमपित्। १.२.४
    sārvadhātukamapit (1.2.4)
    sārvadhātukam a-pit
    and sārvadhātuka [suffixes] that are not pit.

More plainly: a sārvadhātuka affix that is not pit will be treated as ṅit. And since it is treated as ṅit, it will not be able to cause any guṇa changes to the root sound.

Since śap is pit, rule 1.2.4 will not apply to it, and it will still be able to cause guṇa changes.

adhikāra rules

There is one relevant adhikāra here:

  • अङ्गस्य। ६.४.१
    aṅgasya (6.4.1)
    Of an aṅga, …

And what is an aṅga?

  • यस्मात् प्रत्ययविधिस्तदादि प्रत्ययेऽङ्गम्। १.४.१३
    yasmāt pratyayavidhistadādi pratyaye'ṅgam (1.4.13)
    yasmāt pratyaya-vidhiḥ tat-ādi pratyaye aṅgam
    If a rule introduces a pratyaya after some specific term, everything from that term up to the pratyaya [is called] an anga.

So if a pratyaya is introduced after a dhātu, that dhātu is called aṅga with respect to the pratyaya.

Replacement by guṇa

Rule 7.3.84 contains the word guṇa by anuvṛtti from a previous rule:

  • सार्वधातुकार्धधातुकयोः। ७.३.८४
    sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ (7.3.84)
    [An aṅga is replaced with guṇa] when followed by a sārvadhātuka or ārdhadhātuka suffix.

But to properly understand this rule, we must refer to two other rules. First, we know from rule 1.1.3 (iko guṇavṛddhī) that guṇa can replace only an ik vowel. But which ik vowel do we replace? We can decide which vowel to replace by referring to a new paribhāṣā:

  • येन विधिस्तदन्तस्य। १.१.७२
    yena vidhistadantasya (1.1.72)
    yena vidhiḥ tat-antasya
    [A term] by which a rule [is specified refers to an item that] ends in that [term].

In other words, the rule applies to the final sound of the aṅga. If we use rules 1..1.3 and 1.1.72, we can properly understand rule 7.3.84:

  • सार्वधातुकार्धधातुकयोः। ७.३.८४
    sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ (7.3.84)
    [An aṅga's last ik vowel is replaced with guṇa] when followed by a sārvadhātuka or ārdhadhātuka suffix.

And we can continue with our prakriyā:

  1. nī a ti1.3.3 halantyam
    1.3.8 laśakvataddhite
    1.3.9 tasya lopaḥ
  2. ne a ti7.3.84 sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ

laghu and guru

There is another important instance where guṇa can apply. If we define the terms laghu:

  • हलोऽनन्तराः संयोगः। १.१.७
    halo'nantarāḥ saṃyogaḥ (1.1.7)
    halaḥ anantarāḥ saṃyogaḥ
    Consonants without an interval between them are called saṃyoga (conjunct).

  • ह्रस्वं लघु। १.४.१०
    hrasvaṃ laghu (1.4.10)
    hrasvam laghu
    A hrasva (short vowel) is called laghu,

  • संयोगे गुरु। १.४.११
    saṃyoge guru (1.4.11)
    saṃyoge guru
    but it is called guru when followed by saṃyoga.

  • दीर्घं च। १.४.१२
    dīrghaṃ ca (1.4.12)
    dīrgham ca
    And dīrgha is also [called guru].

and upadhā:

  • अलोऽन्त्यात् पूर्व उपधा। १.१.६५
    alo'ntyāt pūrva upadhā (1.1.65)
    alaḥ antyāt pūrvaḥ upadhā
    The sound before the last sound is called upadhā (penultimate).

Then we can understand rule 7.3.85, which follows rule 7.3.84 (sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ):

  • पुगन्तलघूपधस्य च। ७.३.८५
    pugantalaghūpadhasya ca (7.3.85)
    pu̐k-anta-laghu-upadhasya ca
    And [the last ik vowel of an aṅga] ending with pu̐k or whose upadhā (penultimate sound) is laghu (a light syllable) [is replaced with guṇa].

Let's set aside pu̐k, since it is a minor point. Then the rule has a plain meaning: if the penultimate sound of the aṅga is laghu, then we can replace that sound with its guṇa.

Together, rules 7.3.84 and 7.3.85 cause guṇa in a variety of roots:

  • नी + शप् → ने अ
    nī + śap → ne a

  • भू + शप् → भो अ
    bhū + śap → bho a

  • शुच् + शप् → शोच् अ
    śuc + śap → śoc a

and leave others alone:

  • निन्द् + शप् → निन्द् अ
    nind + śap → nind a
    (Penultimate is not a vowel.)

  • जीव् + शप् → जीव् अ
    jīv + śap → jīv a
    (Penultimate is long.)


We now have all of the essential components we need to complete our prakriyā. In the next lesson, we will generate all eighteen forms of the root in the present tense (laṭ) with kartari prayoga.