dhātu धातु

Definition: a root; the basic word of a verbal form,defined by the Bhasyakara as क्रियावचनो धातुः or even as भाववचने धातु:, a word denoting a verbal activity. Panini has not defined the term as such, but he has given a long list of roots under ten groups, named dasagani, which includes about 2200 roots which can be called primary roots as contrasted with secondary roots. The secondary roots can be divided into two main groups (l) roots derived from roots (धातुजधातवः) and (2) roots derived from nouns (नामधातवः). The roots derived from roots can further be classified into three main subdivisions : (a) causative roots or णिजन्त, (b) desiderative roots or सन्नन्त, (c) intensive roots or यङन्त and यङ्लुगन्त: while roots derived from nouns or denominative roots can further be divided into क्यजन्त, काम्यजन्त, क्यङन्त, क्यषन्त, णिङन्त, क्विबन्त and the miscellaneous ones (प्रकीर्ण) as derived from nouns like कण्डू(कण्ड्वादि) by the application of the affix यक् or from nouns like सत्य,वेद, पाश, मुण्ड,मिश्र, etc. by the application of the affix णिच्. Besides these, there are a few roots formed by the application of the affix अाय and ईय (ईयङ्). All these roots can further be classified into Parasmaipadin or Parasmaibhasa, Atmanepadin or Atmanebhasa and Ubhayapadin. Roots possessed of a mute grave (अनुदात्त) vowel or of the mute consonant ङ् added to the root in the Dhatupatha or ending in the affixes यड्, क्यङ् etc. as also roots in the passive voice are termed Atmanepadin: while roots ending with the affix णिच् as also roots possessed of a mute circumflex vowel or a mute consonant ञ़़् applied to them are termed Ubhayapadin. All the rest are termed Parasmaipadin. There are some other mute letters or syllables applied by Panini to the roots in his Dhatupatha for specific purposes; e.g. ए at the end to signify prohibition of vrddhi to the penultimate अ in the aorist, e.g. अकखीत् cf. P. VII.2.5; इर् to signify the optional substitution of अ or अङ् for the affix च्लि of the aorist, e.g. अभिदत्, अभैत्सीत्; cf. P.III. 1.57; उ to signify the optional application of the augment इ (इट्) before क्त्वा e.g. शमित्वा, शान्त्वा; cf. P.VII. 2. 56; ऊ to signify the optional application of the augment इ (इट्) e.g. गोप्ता, गेीपिता, cf. P.VII.2.44; अा to signify the prohibition of the augment इट् in the case of the past pass. part. e.g. क्ष्विण्णः, स्विन्नः, cf. P. VII.2.16; इ to signify the addition of a nasal after the last vowel e. g. निन्दति from निदि, cf. P. VII.1.58: ऋ to signify the prohibition of ह्रस्व to the penultimate long vowel before णिच्, e. g. अशशासत्, cf. P.VII. 4.2;लृ to signify the substitution of अङ् for च्लि in the aorist, e.g. अगमत् cf. P. III.1.55: ओ to signify the substitution of न् for त् of the past pass.part. e.g. लग्नः, अापीनः, सूनः, दून: etc.; cf. P. VIII. 2.45. Besides these,the mute syllables ञि, टु and डु are prefixed for specific purposes; cf. P. III.2.187, III.3.89 and III. 3.88. The term धातु is a sufficiently old one which is taken by Panini from ancient grammarians and which is found used in the Nirukta and the Pratisakhya works, signifying the 'elemental (radical)base' for nouns which are all derivable from roots according to the writers of the Nirukta works and the grammarian Siktaayana; cf. नाम च धातुजमाह निरुक्ते व्याकरणे शकटस्य च तोकम् M. Bh. on P. III.3.1. Some scholars have divided roots into six categories; cf. तत्र धातवः षोढा (a) परिपठिताः भूवादयः, (b) अपरिपठता अान्दोलयत्यादयः, (c) परिपठितापरिपठिताः (सूत्रपठिताः) स्कुस्कम्भस्तम्भेत्यादयः, (d) प्रत्ययधातवः सनाद्यन्ताः, (e) नामघातवः कण्ड्वादयः, (f) प्रत्ययनामधातवः होडगल्भक्ली. बप्रभृतयः; cf Sringara Prak. I. For details see M.Bh. on P.I.3.I as also pp 255, 256 Vol. VII Vyakarana-Mahabhasya published by the D.E. Society, Poona.

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