Contents‎ > ‎CHAPTERS‎ > ‎CHAPTER VIII‎ > ‎

580. But the use also of the optative

But the use also of the optative with  not in a prohibitive sense appears in the Veda, and becomes later a familiar construction: thus, ná riṣyema kadā́ caná(RV.) may we suffer no harm at any time; ná cā ’tisṛjén ná juhuyāt (AV.) and if he do not grant permission, let him not sacrifice; tád u táthā ná kuryāt(ÇB.) but he must not do that so; na divā çayīta (ÇGS.) let him not sleep by day; na tvāṁ vidyur janāḥ (MBh.) let not people know thee. This in the later language is the correlative of the prescriptive optative, and both are extremely common; so that in a text of prescriptive character the optative forms may come to outnumber the indicative and imperative together (as is the case, for example, in Manu).