The study of Sanskrit has but recently risen in the estimation of the educated natives of this Presidency and of our educational authorities. The old Sanskrit College of Poona owed its existence and continuance rather to a spirit of conciliation and toleration in our rulers than to their conviction of the utility of Sanskrit as a branch of general education. The modem critical and progressive spirit was not brought to bear upon it. The old Sastris were allowed to carry all things in their own way. After about thirty years since its establishment, the authorities began to exercise active interference, until at length the College was abolished and a new system inaugurated, which, to be complete and effective, requires, in my humble opinion, a partial restoration of the old institution.
This newly-awakened and more enlightened zeal in favour of Sanskrit cannot last, or produce extensive results, unless books are prepared to facilitate the general study of that language. I have heard students complain that they find Sanskrit more difficult than Latin, and many have actually left the study of their own classical tongue for that of its foreign rival. I do not know if this complaint has a foundation in the structure of the two languages; but this, at least, I am sure of, that Sanskrit would be considerably more easy than it is, if there were men educated in our English Colleges to teach it, and if books specially adapted for beginners were available. It was with the view of supplying, in some measure, this latter desideratum that this little book was prepared about a year and a half ago. Its plan was originally sketched out by Dr. Hang, though in a few places I found it necessary to deviate from it. The book is intended principally for boys; but, for the benefit of young men whose minds have already undergone some culture, I have added a great deal of matter, especially in footnotes, which perhaps ought not to be introduced into a book written merely for children. In preparing the book I found nothing so difficult as composing from about forty of fifty sentences, Sanskrit and English, for each lesson, since my choice of words and grammatical forms was considerably limited by the conditions of that lesson. I have, however, done what I could, and in several places, especially at the end, have put in such sentences, occurring in original Sanskrit works, as I remembered. It is attempted to teach nearly all the declensions, some irregularities only being omitted, four conjugations of verbs, two tenses and one mood, passive forms, and some of the more important verbal derivatives.
One of my aims in giving to this book its peculiar form was to enable the intelligent student to go through it without assistance. I am now happy to learn that this object it remarkably' fulfils. To increase its efficacy in this respect, such explanations as seemed to be called for have been added in the shape of foot-notes, and a few other improvements and modifications been made.
It has some to my knowledge, in some of the schools, in which this book is taught, the teachers consider it to be their only duty to get their pupils to translate mechanically from and into Sanskrit the sentences, given in each lesson. They pay little or no attention to the grammatical portion. In others, such books as the common Riipiioali are put into the hands of the pupils, and they are made to learn by heart the declensional forms given in these. This shows a misconception of the object of this book, which is evidently to teach grammar, and to teach it not for its own sake, but in its connection with the language, not in a manner simply to overburden the pupil's memory, but in a manner to awaken and encourage thought. The sentences are intended to serve as exercises in the rules and forms and should be used as such. The teacher should see that thoroughly understands the rules and knows the forms, and, in going over the sentences, get him frequently to explain the grammar of the words occurring therein, and such other points. Repeated exercise is what the teacher should particularly attend to. To help him in the portion of his work, and to enable the pupil to digest what he has learnt into a connected whole, I have in certain places given examination questions, and brought together the results of the lessons that precede .. Another improvement in a General Glossary of all the words contained in the book, which will be found at the end.
I am very glad to hear from my friend, the Curator of the Government Book Dept, that this book is used in various parts of India, and that the demand for copies is daily increasing and extending over a wide area. The improvements made in this edition will, earnestly hope, increase its usefulness and render still more acceptable.
A new lesson on the Potential Mood has been added in the present edition. All the conjugational tenses and moods of the first group of conjugations have thus been brought together in the same book.
This part- II of Sanskrit has been prepared under instructions from Sir A. Grant, Director of Public Instruction. Its plan in nearly the same as that of the First Book, which the student is supposed to have read and mastered. Each lessor consists of four parts :-Ist, Grammar; 2nd, Sanskrit sentences for translation into English: 3rd,. English sentences for translation into Sanskrit-both intended to exercise the student in the rules of Grammar given at the top of the Lesson; and 4th, a Vocabulary. This Book contains as much Grammar as is needed for all practical purposes, perhaps more. I have adopted the terminology of the English Grammarians of Sanskrit, but have strictly followed Panini, as explained by Bhattoji Diksita in his Siddhantakaumudi. Most of the rules are mere translations of the Siitras. Besides the terms Cuna, Vrddhi, and a few others, which have been adopted from Native Grammarians by nearly all European writers on the subject, I have found it necessary to appropriate two more, viz., Set and Anit, The prejudice against mere Native terms in deference to which Professor Benfey seems in his smaller Grammar to have discarded even the words Cuna and Vrddhi, without substituting any others, is, in my humble opinion, very unreasonable, when it is difficult to frame new words to designate the things which they signify. It is very inconvenient to have to describe the same thing again and again whenever one has occasion to speak of it. It will at the same time be somewhat difficult for the learner to make out, when a thing is so described in a variety of cases, that it is the same. Words adapted to express a particular meaning are as necessary here as in other affairs of human life. What an amount of inconvenience would it, for instance, entail, if, whenever we had to speak of the human race, we were, instead of being allowed to use the word 'man,' made to describe man's physical and rational nature! But I must not elevate an ordinary truism to the rank of a newly-discovered truth.
The general rules of Grammar, and such exceptions as are important, have been given in this book; those of the least importance only being omitted. Such an omission is apt to render a book liable to the charge of inaccuracy. But it is unavoidable in an elementary work, and after all it will produce little or no practical inconvenience.
There is one point in Sanskrit Grammar, in my explanation of which I have departed from ordinary usage, though I think I do agree with Panini and his commentators. It is the sense to be attached to the so-called Aorist. The most laborious student of a dead language is not alive to all the nice shades of meaning, which are plain even to the uninstructed when a language is living. Even to a Maha-Pandita in these days the sound of bhavte is not at all so disagreeable as that of hoyel is to the genuiue Maratha peasant. We know of the distinction between the Atmanepada and Parasmaipada only in theory, but that between the a and e of the Marathi Habitual Past, of the l and Il of the Furture, we feel. We must, therefore, to determine this question about the Aorist, appeal to such Sanskrit works as, we have reason to suppose, must have been written when Sanskrit was a spoken language. The Kavyas, the Natakas, and most of the Puranas will not do for our purpose. Such books as the Samhitas of the Vedas, the Brahmanas, or even those portions of the two great Epics which do not bear indications of having been subsequently tampered with must be referred to. To institute such a wide research I have neither had the necessary time nor the necessary means. But the Aitareya Brahrnana, which I have read, seems almost to decide the point. In this work, whenever stories are told, the so-called Imperfect or the Perfect is always used, and the Aorist never occurs.' On the contrary, when the persons in the story are represented as speaking with one another they use the Aorist, and the only sense that can be attached to it in these cases is that of the English Present Perfect; in other words, it indicates simply the completion of an action or an action that has just or recently been done. The reason why the Aorist occurs in these cases only is that there is no scope for recent past time in mere narration; and things that have just or recently occurred can come to be spoken of only when persons are talking with each other. The piece given at the end of this book contains passages remarkably illustrating what I say. The story goes :-"Hariscandra said to Varuna, 'Let a son be born to me and I will then offer him as a sacrifice to you.' 'Well,' said Varuna. Then a son was born to him. Then said Varuna, 'You have got a son, sacrifice him to me now.' Then said Hariscandra, 'When a victim becomes ten days old, then he is fit to be sacrificed. Let the boy become ten days old, I will then sacrifice him to you.' 'Well,' said Varuna The boy tecame ten days old. Then said Varuna, 'He has become ten days old, sacrifice him now to me'," and thus it proceeds. Now in this and the remaining portion of the Khanda the verbs said" (occurring several times), "was born," "became" and others that are used by the narrator speaking in his own. person are always in the Perfect; while "have got," "has become," etc. used by Varuna with reference to the boy, are in the Aorist, The latter clearly refer to a time just gone by. In the same manner, in the story of Nabanedistha, related in the fourteenth Khanda of the fifth Pancika, the verbs Abhakt, Abhakshu , Adu and aadit used by Nabhanedistha, and evidently, from the context, denoting events that have just happened, are in the Aorist, as also Avadi used by Rudra. While when the author, in narrating the story, speaks of certain things as having taken place, he invariably uses the Imperfect, the even from his point of view having occurred at a remote past time. Similar instances, in which the Aorist on the one hand, and the Imperfect or the Perfect on the other, are used exactly in the same way, occur in 1-23,2-19, 3-33, 4-17,t 6-33, 6-34, 7-27, 7-28, 8-7, 8-23, while narratives, in which the Perfect or the Imperfect only is used, and where there is either no conversation, or when there is, it is only with reference to present or future time, the innumerable. 7-26, and 5-34 may also be consulted.
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