Lesson 55: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Passive


Tenses. Passive.

Source: Introduction to Sanskrit (4th Ed) – Thomas Egenes – Part Two

This session deals with: CH20, PG34-36.


  • Concept:
    • Dog bites the man.  > PASSIVE: Man is bitten (by the dog).
  • Pāṇini Grammar:
Active Construction
(kartari prayoga) L4
Passive Construction
(karmaṇi prayoga) L20
Abstract Construction
(bhāve prayoga) L20
The boy(kartṛ: agent of action) reads the book(karman: object of action).     

bālaḥ pustakam paṭhati
बालः पुस्तकम् पठति

Book is read by the boy.     

pustakam(NOM) bālena paṭhyate
पुस्तकम् बालेन पठ्यते

It is gone by me. (I'm going!)     

mayā gamyate
मया गम्यते

  • Subject is actively doing the verb.
  • Subject is passive. Verb is done onto it.
  • Agent of action = INST. (sometimes GEN)
  • Verb is passive.
  • Direct object is missing/abstract.
  • About:
    • Subject is receiving the action. Subject is passive (just sitting idle), and VERB is done unto IT.
      • EG: Scarf is(being) made by my grandma. Test is(being) taken by the class.
        • TIP: Add a silent “is being“. Helps remind it's in PRESENT.
    • Passive verb can be without INST in sentence. EG:
      • When eternal knowledge is abandoned, then truth is not understood.
        yadā nityaḥ vedaḥ tyajyate tadā satyam na avagamyate
        यदा नित्यः वेदः त्यज्यते तदा सत्यम् न अवगम्यते
  • How formed? root(of all 10 classes)  +  ya(unrelated to ya sfix in L50)  +  Ā(for all 10 classes). EG:
    • √gam + ya + te = gamyate   गम्यते   : He/she/it is gone.
    • √paṭh + ya + te = paṭhyate  पठ्यते   : He/she/it is read.
  • How to IDENTIFY?
    • Verb has ya . And most likely ends with e .
  • RULES:
    1. Final i / u  is lengthened.   EG: √ji  > jīyate जीयते    : is conquered.
    2. Final ā or (e / ai , o / au ) becomes ī .   EG: √sthā > sthīyate  स्थीयते   : is stood.
    3. Final   ऋ after:
      • One consonant,   becomes ri रि.    EG: k    √कृ    > kriyate     क्रियते  : is made/performed.
      • Two consonants, becomes ar अर्. EG: sm√स्मृ   > smaryate स्मर्यते  : is remembered.
    4. Some roots undergo samprasāraṇa (Meaning: va   > u/ū  उ/ऊ   |   ya   > i/ī  इ/ई   |   ra   >  ṛ/ṝ  ऋ/ॠ).
      • EG:
        • vad √वद्    >    udyate  उद्यते   : is spoken.
        • vac √वच्    >   ucyate उच्यते    : is said.
        • vas √वस्    >   uṣyate उष्यते    : is lived.
        • yaj √यज्    >   jīyate  जीयते      : is sacrificed/conquered.
    5. Roots (C10) which add aya अय, lose aya before adding ya.
      • EG: cint √चिन्त् 10P > cintayayate > cintyate चिन्त्यते  : is thought.
  • Passive EG's:
ācāryāya namaḥ śiṣyaiḥ kriyate
आचार्याय नमः     शिष्यैः क्रियते
Salutation is offered by the students for the teacher.
(ātmanaḥgen tejaḥnom) sattvenainst manasāinst  budhyate
(आत्मनः तेजः)  सत्त्वेनैन्स्त्   मनसाइन्स्त्  बुध्यते
Light of the self is known by the mind with purity.
yadā yogī vane tapaḥ karoti tadā sa bandhāt mucyate
यदा  योगी वने   तपः   करोति तदा  स बन्धात्   मुच्यते
When yogi performs austerity in forest, then he is released from bondage.



  • PG 40, #5 a-h.


You'll have more questions throughout the course. How to ask? Leave in comments below, so others can also benefit. We'll respond within 48 hours. Only ask specific to this Lesson.


Recorded 5 Dec, 2021


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