Sanskrit: antarṇītasannartho lihiḥ अनतर्णीतसन्नर्थो लि


Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Hello everybody, I am trying to translate Sāyaṇa's commentary on "Ṛgveda", III, 33, and I have found a sequence (for I think there are several words written together, according to the "devanāgarī" rules), which I cannot figure out. I have tried to separate its elements in all the ways that have come to my mind, without any success so far. Perhaps the problem lies in the proper reading of the "devanāgarī" signs in the editions that I have consulted so far, in which the printing, the scans, or both do not seem to have the best quality:

MÜLLER, F. M. (ed.), 1890 (2nd ed.): Rig-veda Samhitâ. The Sacred Hymns of the Brâhmans, Together with the Commentary of Sâyanâkârya, vol. II, London, Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, p. 242 = 317 of the PDF, first line (please see first attachment): अंतर्णीतसनर्थो लिहिः(aṃtarṇītasanartho lihiḥ). The word लिहिःdoes not seem to be the problem; it seems an action noun derived through the suffix –i from the verb root lih- (“to lick”); I am providing it just for context (those two words appear between interpunction bars in the text, so they seem to make a sentence). The problem lies in अंतर्णीतसनर्थो (if that reading is correct, it seems a sandhi form equivalent to अंतर्णीतसनर्थस् before voiced consonant at the beginning of the following word). Since the printing, the scan, or both are not very clear, perhaps one should read अंतर्णोतसनर्थो (aṃtarṇotasanartho),अंतर्णोतसनर्थी (aṃtarṇotasanarthī), अंतर्णीतसनर्थी (aṃtarṇītasanarthī) or any of those hypothetical sequences, but with म instead of स, that is, अंतर्णीतमनर्थो (aṃtarṇītamanartho), etc.

SONTAKKE, N. S.; Kashikar, C. G.; Varadaraj Sharma, T. S., & Umranikar, B. V. (eds.), 1936: Ṛgveda-Saṃhitā with the Commentary of Sāyaṇāchārya, vol. II, Poona, Vedic Research Institute, p. 347 = 402 of the PDF (please see second attachment): अन्तर्णीतसन्नर्थो लिहिःThe correspondence between अन्तर् (Sontakke) and अंतर् (Müller) leads us to suspect that perhaps one should read अंतर्णीतसंनर्थो in Müller’s text as well, although in the scan we are using we do not see any anusvāra mark on the स (or म)in Müller’s edition.

Anyway, it seems to me that we should separate अर्थो (that is, अर्थस्, in sandhi) or अर्थी (which do not seem to pose too much of a problem), but as for the rest (अन्तर्णीतसन् , which would become अन्तर्णीतसन्न् before initial vowel in the following word), I have neither found it in Monier-Williams, Böhtlingk-Roth or Grassmann, nor have I found there any of the other hypothetical readings suggested above. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance.


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  • Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    I think, I understand the comment made by Sāyaṇa quite well, though I do not know the word अन्तर्णीत. This word does not appear in Monier-Williams and Apte. But a google-search for अन्तर्णीत and अन्तर्णीतं throws up a hand-full of results, primarily from the website of शृंगेरी शारदा पीठ. The etymology of the word looks rather unclear to me, but from the context (in both Sāyaṇa and the शृंगेरी website) the meaning seems to be something like "inherent". Anyways, the relevant part of Sāyaṇa's comment goes as follows:

    मातरौ धेनू रिहाणे। अन्तर्णीतसन्नर्थो लिहिः। वत्सं जिह्वया लेढुमिच्छन्त्यौ ...
    A close English translation would be (assuming अन्तर्णीत=inherent):
    The two "rihāṇe" mothers, [i.e.] cows. The root lih- has/having an inherent desiderative meaning. [In other words: They two] wishing to lick a calf with [their] tongue.

    Sāyaṇa is explaining here the phrase "मा॒तरा॑ रिहा॒णे" from RV 3.33.1. मातरा is the Vedic form for Classical मातरौ (two mothers). रिहाणे is etymologically the present middle participle feminine dual nominative from the root "rih", which is the Vedic form of Classical "lih" (to lick). In other words, रिहाणे should signify: they two who lick. However, Sāyaṇa argues that "lih" - I presume, specifically in the context of the current verse - has an inherent desiderative meaning. Thus he paraphrases it as: they two wishing to lick - and he supplies the object of licking - a/their calf.

    Apart from अन्तर्णीत, the grammatical jargons सन्नर्थः and लिहिः merit a comment or two:
    - In traditional Sanskrit grammatical tradition, सन्‌ is the name of the suffix (i.e. -स) that derives secondary desiderative verbs, e.g. ज्ञा, to know + सन्‌ + present middle 3rd sing. = जिज्ञासते, wants to know, i.e. enquires. So, सन्नर्थः (<सन्‌+अर्थ) is a bahuvrīhi compound meaning "having the meaning of सन्‌", i.e. "having a desiderative meaning/force".
    - In traditional Sanskrit grammar written in the Sanskrit language, verb roots are treated as masculine nouns, often with various added suffixes like, -a, -i, -ṅ, etc. So, लिहि- is just a grammarian's epithet for the root lih-.

    Just to be clear:
    ... leads us to suspect that perhaps one should read अंतर्णीतसंनर्थो in Müller’s text as well, although in the scan we are using we do not see any anusvāra mark on the स (or म)in Müller’s edition.
    That's my feeling as well, or maybe there is a grammatical school which would allow the sandhi सन्‌+अर्थ=सनर्थ instead of the normally expected सन्नर्थ, and Max Müller's text follows that school. But I personally do not know any such school. But then, the diversity of Sanskrit grammatical schools certainly lies far beyond my radius of knowledge.
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    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much for your detailed and quick answer and explanations. I think they make sense, and your comments about the grammatical jargons are very interesting (the diversity of Sanskrit grammatical schools is also beyond my radius of knowledge). The key lies in the fact that सन् be the name of the desiderative suffix -स. It occurred to me that अन्तर्णीत might be the verbal adjective (or perfect passive participle) from the verb नी, "bring, lead," here compound with the preverb अन्तर, "between" (although I have not found such a compound attested in any of the dictionaries I usually consult at IITS Koeln). That would take us near your guess about अन्तर्णीत meaning "inherent." Then, the whole word अन्तर्णीतसन्नर्थः would be another compound, this time a कर्मधारयः, where the last member, सन्नर्थः (interpreted, according to your suggestion, as a बहुव्रीहि compound meaning "having the meaning of सन्," i. e., a desiderative force") is determined by the first member, अन्तर्णीत, "brought in [sc. 'the text'] with a desiderative meaning." What do you think? Thank you very much in advance!