Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 10 18:25:09 CST 2000

>> > R^itam satyaM paraM brahma purushhaM
>> > kR^ishhNapi.ngalaM|
>> > UrdhvaretaM virUpAxaM vishvarUpAya vai namo nama.h ||
>> As I mentioned before, this mantra is very interesting. The words
>> R^itam, satyam and brahma are neuter nominative singular. The word
>> purushha is a masculine noun and the nominative is purushhaH, whereas
>> the mantra uses purushhaM.

Actually, the neuter nominative singular and the neuter accusative singular
share the same form, so it may well be that all these words are in
accusative singular. Mixing of neuter and masculine nouns in the same verse
is much more common in Sanskrit poetry than one would imagine. For that
matter, even mixing of feminine and masculine nouns is allowed, provided the
same object is being referred to. For example, in Sriharsha's
Naishadacarita, there is a verse which ends, yasyAsau jaladevatA
sphaTikabhUr jAgarti yAgeshvaraH. Note that jaladevatA is feminine, and
yAgeshvaraH is masculine, both nominative singular.

The more intriguing thing is the form vishvarUpAya, which is in the dative
case (caturthI vibhakti). I have never obtained a satisfactory answer (to my
critical mind) as to why only this word is in a different case. For
example, vishvarUpAya vai namaH can be replaced with vishvarUpaM namAmy
aham, to satisfy both grammar and meter, but one can't take liberties with
the words of Vedic verses. Of course, one can't also expect Vedic language
to follow classical grammar rules, but I wonder if there is another reason
for the form of the verse as it stands.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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