Sanskrit: rūpa- as masculine?


Senior Member
English, Hindustani

The Prajñāpārmitāhṛdayasūtra ("Heart Sutra") contains the following line:
iha, śāriputra, rūpaṁ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpam, rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā, śūnyatāyā na pṛthag rūpam, evam eva vedanā saṃjñā saṃskāro vijñānaṃ.​
Here, Śariputra, form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Emptiness is not distinct from form(s), and form is not distinct from emptiness(es). Thus it is also with sensation, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness.​

rūpa- is listed as neuter in the dictionaries I've searched, and it seems to act neuter throughout most of the above line. But I'm intrigued by rūpān, highlighted in green above. This seems to have the a-stem masculine plural accusative ending -ān. I might have expected the neuter form rūpāṇi (or rūpai[ḥ] or rūpebhya[ḥ], since the argument of pṛthak can be accusative, instrumental, or ablative). Does this mean that rūpa- was sometimes used as a masculine stem? Or have I mis-analyzed something here?
  • Ahh, got it. Thanks! And then we have some parallel structure as well. Phew! :)