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How to split words?

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In our scriptures, most of Sanskrit words are compound, some of which can be split in more ways than one. Depending on how we split, the meaning changes. The problem is that all these meanings are given by well-known Sanskrit scholars. Take the example of Bhagavad Gita 13.13. It contains a word 'anadimatparam'. Adi Shankaracharya split the word as anadimat + param. According to him, anadimat means beginingless and param means supreme. So, anadimatparam means 'that which is supreme and is without any beginning'.

Srila Prabhupada breaks the word as 'anadi+mat-param'. He translates anadi as beginningless and mat-param as 'subordinate to Me'. Sri Ramanuja also splits the word in the same way.


As far as I am aware, all of them-Adi Shankaracharya, Sri Ramanuja, Swami Prabhupada were Sanskrit scholars. In this situation how can one know what should be the preferred way of splitting? Or, is it that all of these are correct and mean the same thing in a way which I have not seen?

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In many cases they are all correct on various levels. Even within the Gaudiya line there are commentaries by Acharya's that were written only a few hundred years apart where each acharya says that a word means the opposite as the other. For example the commentaries of Baladeva Vidyabhushana and Vishvanatha Chakravarti differ on a number of key points. It doesn't mean one is wrong, but that there are many ways to view the absolute truth.

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Radhe Krishna,


The shabdha is split according to the purport one perceives in the context. Every split of word which is grammatically correct and is not in disagreement with other five upaangas like Siksha, Chandas etc., are agreed as a base for further vichaara.


One easy way of splitting words while you recite big puraanas or ithihaasas like Shrimad Bhagawatham, Valmiki Ramaayana, Mahabharatham etc., is to hold on to the chandas or vrutha. By holding on to chandas or vrutha, the shabdha automatically gets split. But this would not be 100% correct. This would only be substantially correct. Only by splittng words in agreement with vyakarana and context would give proper split of words. This requires bhasha gyana. Rather than reciting 'lut lut' "dukrun' dukrun' - if one recites Granthas like Shrimad Bhagawatham, Vaalmiki Ramaayana, Shrimad Bhagawath Geeta, Hari Bhakthi vilasam, Radha Rasa sudhanidhi - may be albeit with mistakes of pronounciation mistakes - one would ultimately get dwelled in the nectar of these Hari bhakthi granthas thereby also gaining knowledge of the bhasha.


This is the way as to how a child learns its mother tongue. A child is not taught the intricacies of a langauge. Rather by practice it learns it.


Radhe krishna

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