Sanskrit: Semantics of "आज्ञां करोति"


Senior Member
Bengali (India)
I found out today that "आज्ञां करोति" in Sanskrit means "(he/she) carries out an order", which surprised me quite a bit at first, as I thought it would mean "(he/she) gives an order" going by the simple meaning of आज्ञा as "order". Then slowly the Hindi usage of "आज्ञाकारी" in the sense of "obedient" dawned upon me, and I started to see the logic, that "आज्ञा" here is to be interpreted as the "ordered task" rather than the order itself. Now, to my Bengali-speaker's ears, this Hindi usage has also always sounded strange, because in Bengali আজ্ঞাকারী/आज्ञाकारी would indeed be interpreted as "the order-giver" ("আদেশদাতা/आदेशदाता" according to online Samsad Bengali-to-Bengali dictionary). Now, Bengali is not the most conservative language in terms of preserving original pronunciations and connotations of loanwords, but usually it is less "indiscreet" (to put it cheekily) with Sanskrit loans.

So, I was wondering if the Bengali interpretation (the blue one above) is also available in classical Sanskrit. Any pointer, especially usage examples, will be extremely welcome. I'd also love to see more examples of the use in the first sense too (the green one).


A bit more context:
I actually came across this usage in a grammatically interesting verse (it took me a while to sort the construction out) from कुमारसंभवम्‌ (4.29):

Rati laments the death of her husband, Madana (the god of love):
अमुना ननु पार्श्ववर्तिना जगदाज्ञां ससुरासुरं तव।
बिसतन्तुगुणस्य कारितं धनुषः पेलवपुष्पपत्रिणः॥

"The world, including the gods and the demons, was indeed made by him (i.e. Madhu/springtime) staying by (your side) to follow the order/authority of your bow, whose string is made of (nothing but just) lotus-stalk and the arrows of soft flowers." (The sense is that springtime brings an air of love with it.)
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  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Dib, it would be my boldest dream to be able to help you out with Sanskrit but since you mentioned other Modern Indic languages, this is what my favourite Farhang-e-Asafiyyah has to say about the semantics of this word in Urdu. It is obvious from these entries that the verb aaggyaa denaa and karnaa is equivalent but the adjective from Sanskrit, aaggyaakaarii is not!

    آگّیا پالنا ۔ ہ ۔ فِعلِ لازِم ۔ حُکم بجا لانا ۔ آگّیا پُورن کرنا ۔ اطاعت کرنا ۔ فرمان٘برداری کرنا ۔ مُتابِعت کرنا
    aaggyaa paalnaa.h. fi3l-e-lazim. Hukm ba-jaa laanaa .aaggyaa puuran karnaa . itaa3at karnaa. farmaaNbardaarii karnaa. mutaaabi3at karnaa.
    آگّیا دینا ۔ آگّیا کرنا ۔ ہ ۔ فِعلِ مُتعدّی ۔ حُکم دینا یا جاری کرنا ۔ فَیصلہ کرنا ۔ تصفیہ کرنا ۔چُکانا ۔طے کرنا ہدایت کرنا ۔ رستہ بتانا ۔ رہنمائی کرنا ۔ رستہ دِکھانا ۔ تعلیم کرنا.
    aaggyaa denaa-aaggyaa karnaa . h. fi3l-e-muta3addi . Hukm denaa yaa jaarii karnaa. faiSalah karna . taSfiyyah karnaa . chukaanaa . tayy karnaa . hidaayat karnaa . rastah bataanaa . rahnumaa'ii karnaa. rastah dikhaanaa. ta3liim karnaa

    آگّیا کاری ۔ س ۔ صِفت ۔ (۱) حُکم پر چلنے والا ۔ حُکم کے مُوافِق کرنے والا ۔ حُکم ماننے والا ۔ آگّیا پالک (۲) فرمان٘بردار ۔ تابعدار ۔ فدوی سیوَک ۔ آدھِین ۔
    aaggyaa kaarii . s . Sifat. 1. Hukm par chalne waalaa. Hukm ke muwaafiq karne waalaa. Hukm maanne waalaa. aaggyaa paalak . 2. farmaaNbardaar. taabi3daar . fidwii sewak. aadhiin.