[Advaita-l] to be and to have in Sanskrit

Naresh Cuntoor nareshpc at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 09:44:03 CDT 2007


I am interested in this question as well and hope our Sanskrit
scholars will shed some light on this. Here is my understanding:

A direct translation of <to have> may not be present in Sanskrit, at
least in the way we understand <to have> v. <to be> in English. The
usage of kta and ktavatu pratyayas, however, replace the need for a
<to have>. For example, consider the dhaatu kRu=to do.
In the three li~ggas, we have,
(1) kRu + kta "=" kRutaH / kRutaa / kRutam.
(2) kRu + ktavatu "=" kRutavaan / kRutavatee / kRutavat

Both (1) and (2) have the same meaning "something/someone that/who has
done". They are both adjectives. Their usage depends on
kartari/karmaNi prayoga (active/passive voice) and some special cases
(gatyarthaka dhaatus).

kta and ktavatu permit sentence construction without using verbs. Such
a construction would be literally translated as "I (am) the one who
possesses the body." The am (as in, I am)=asmi is optional.

<to get> = praapnoti.


On 3/30/07, Guy Werlings <werlings.guy at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> he priya mitrANi |
> I am rather surprised nay disappointed to see that my earlier question as to
> the verbs to be and to have in Sanskrit did not arise the slightest interest
> from the many learned members of the list.
> Provided it is really true that there is no verb corresponding to «to have»
> in Sanskrit, is there at least a verb meaning «to get» so that one could at
> least say in Sanskrit «I got a body, but I am not the body» if one cannot
> say «I have a body but I am not the body». Or are they verbs meaning «to
> own, or to possess», so that one could say «I own or I possess a body, but I
> am not the body»?
> Most of you will probably think that I am just a hair-splitter, but if such
> a basic idea cannot be conveyed in Sanskrit, then it raises very serious
> philosophic questions and the claim that Sanskrit is such an elaborate and
> perfect language has to be seriously considered again.
> I do feel very sorry if I am irking anybody.
> VandanAni
> Guy/GI
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Naresh P. Cuntoor

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