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1293. Possessive Compounds

The possessives are noun-compounds of the preceding class, determinatives, of all its various subdivisions, to which is given an adjective inflection, and which take on an adjective meaning of a kind which is most conveniently and accurately defined by adding having or possessing to the meaning of the determinative.

a. Thus: the dependent sūryatejás sun's brightness becomes the possessive sū́ryatejas possessing the brightness of the sun; yajñakāmá desire of sacrifice becomesyajñákāma having desire of sacrifice; the descriptive bṛhadratha great chariot becomes the possessive bṛhádratha having great chariots; áhasta not hand becomes ahastáhandless; durgandhi ill savor becomes durgándhi of ill savor; and so on.

b. A copulative compound is not convertible into an adjective directly, any more than is a simple noun, but requires, like the latter, a possessive suffix or other means: e. g.vāgghastavant, doṣaguṇin, rajastamaska, açirogrīva, anṛgyajus. A very small number of exceptions, however, are found: thus, somendrá (TS.), stómapṛṣṭha (VS. TS.), hastyṛ̀ṣabha (ÇB.), dāsīniṣka (ChU.), and, later, cakramusala, sadānanda, saccidānanda, sān̄khyayoga (as n. pr.), balābala, bhūtabhāutika.

c. The name given by the native grammarians to the possessive compounds is bahuvrīhi: the word is an example of the class, meaning possessing much rice.

d. The name "relative", instead of possessive, sometimes applied to this class, is an utter misnomer; since, though the meaning of such a compound (as of any attributive word) is easily cast into a relative form, its essential character lies in the possessive verb which has nevertheless to be added, or in the possessive case of the relative which must be used: thus,mahākavi and āyurdā, descriptive and dependent, are "relative" also, who is a great poet, and that is life-giving, but bṛhadratha, possessive, means who has a great chariot, or whose is a great chariot.