Lesson 9: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Sandhi Rules + Chart


New verse and how sandhi works.

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


  • Textbook PDF file used in class. It is 3rd Ed. (Copyright: Book is by Thomas Egenes. To support his work, consider buying the book.)
  • Template we used in class for conversation practice.
  • Latest Verse: What Burden?
  • Latest Spoken Sanskrit.
  • Software for writing IAST (Romans with diacritics: ñ, ḍ, etc)
  • Convert IAST to Devanāgarī.


  • Sandhi
    • What is it?
      • Optimizes the sound between two words.
        • EG: Pronounce “I eat a apple and an pear” vs. “I eat an apple and a pear“. Which sounds smoother? And which is less straining on your tongue? Hence later is the winner. Small change, yet significant difference in experience.
      • Just like above example, Sanskrit sandhi system is the same.
    • How does it work?
      • Last character of preceding word changes, depending on first letter of next word.
  • Sandhi Rules for: _aḥ + __

    • Examples using above table:
      • __aḥ + voiced (throat vibrating)
        • naraḥ mṛgam vadati        = naro mṛgam vadati        नरो मृगम् वदति
        • bhavathaḥ vasathaḥ vā   = bhavatho vasatho vā     भवथो सथो वा
        • kaḥ videśaḥ                       = ko videśaḥ                        को विदेशः
        • abhyāsaḥ na hi tyaktavyaḥ abhyāsaḥ hi param balam  = abhyāso na hi tyaktavyo abhyāso hi param balam
      • __aḥ + a__
        • rāmaḥ aśvau gacchati   = rāmośvau gacchati        रामो श्वौ गच्छति
        • putraḥ aśvān pṛcchati   = putro śvān pṛcchati        पुत्रो श्वान् पृच्छति
        • kaḥ atibhāraḥ                  = kotibhāraḥ                      को तिभारः
      • __a + a__
        • anyatra ca api tatsthānam kurta syād tatra na asti saḥ  = anyatra cāpi tatsthānam kurta syād tatra nāsti saḥ
        • sarvatra api   = sarvatrāpi
        • atra api           = atrāpi
      • __aḥ + c__
        • bhavathaḥ ca vasathaḥ ca   = bhavathca vasathca      भवथश्च वसथश्च
        • tiṣṭhāmaḥ gacchāmaḥ ca     = tiṣṭhāmo gacchāmca         तिष्ठामो गच्छामश्च


  1. Memorize all words on Spoken Sanskrit pg 1-6. Here is pronunciation for latest words on page 6.
  2. At least THREE verses should be memorized by now: Practice, Ornaments, Here there, Blades of Grass, What Burden?
  3. Revise gacchati paradigm. Should see whole table in the mind. Can go backwards, forwards.
  4. Finish off Book Lesson 4 exercises if not complete yet.
  5. Devanagari? By now, every letter on pg44 of book should be familiarized. Write out every letter in IAST and Devanāgarī on paper.


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 20 Sept, 2020


  1. hi Andre sorry to bother you
    with sandhi
    Naro mrgam vadati ??? (plural changed to singular ) kindly clarify
    thanks Manish

    1. _āḥ changes to ā. EG: narāḥ mṛgam gacchanti = narā mṛgam gacchanti
      _aḥ changes to o. EG: naraḥ mṛgam gacchati = naro mṛgam gacchati

      We haven’t covered “āḥ”, but it’s same rules as “aḥ”.

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