Present participle can be understood with the kind of ease that is unlike of any other kinds of participles. However, in the previous chapter, we dealt with how participle is different from the Gerund. In this chapter, we shall study the same in detail, and thereby augment to what was understood in the previous chapter. Do not worry; we’ll try to uncomplicate it as much as possible! Take a look at the table given below.

Gerund Participle.
Gerund is a segregated, but more precisely, a distinct action. Participle is the word used to give the details regarding something. It is the word that “describes”. Participle talk “about” the noun.
Gerund, in Sanskrit, takes a form; let’s continue with the example given in the previous chapter, “The woman after eating with the boy will go”. In this case, the Gerund will turn to, “having eaten”. The similar thing cannot be said about the use of participles.


Now let us look at present participle and how it functions in Sanskrit. The way present participle functions in a sentence; moreover, in the Sanskrit language differs from case to case and also depends a lot on the kind of root system that is being used. There are basically three root systems, Atmanapadi, Paramaepadi and Ubhayapadi.

However, firstly we shall talk about the Atmanapadi root system and how would a present participle function as far as that is concerned. It happens in the way as

भू → भवन्ति → भवन्त्
bhū → bhavanti → bhavant
become → they become → becoming
In this case, let it be “Bhu”, which means become.

भवन्त् → भवत्
bhavant → bhavat
becoming (strong stem) → becoming (weak stem)
Now, Bhavanti will become “bhavant” which means becoming.

However, if one was to built a weak stem from the above mentioned strong stem, that is “bhavant”, the “n” can be removed and it would become “bhavat”.

Well, there are always exceptions. But before that, we need to look at the norm, the norm nouns; for the Present participle is that it usually ends with –vat or –mat. However, there are exceptions to these. These exceptions are as follows.

1) An addition of an “i” is added to the feminine stem; however, it is added to the strong stem not the weak stem.
2) The masculine in the first case and in singular does not use any special stem. This can be explained with an example; gacchan remains gacchat even though bhagavat becomes bhagavàn.

Note: the difference in the “a” of the participle of bhagavat and that of gacchan

The table given below gives the example of Parasmaipada present participle in masculine form, in each of the cases. The example we are going to take is of “gachchat”,गच्छत्.

गच्छत् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) गच्छन् gacchan गच्छन्तौ gachantau गच्छन्तः gachantah.
Case 2 (object) गच्छन्तम् gacchantamगच्छन्तौ gacchantauगच्छतः gacchatah
Case 3 ( with) गच्छता gacchataगच्छद्भ्याम् gacchadbyamगच्छद्भिः gacchadbhih
Case 4 (for)गच्छते gacchateगच्छद्भ्याम् gacchadbyam. गच्छद्भ्यः gacchadbhyam.
Case 5 (from) गच्छतः gacchatahगच्छद्भ्याम् gacchadbyamगच्छद्भ्यः gacchadbhyam
Case 6 (of)गच्छतः gacchatahगच्छतोः gacchatohगच्छताम् gacchatsu
Case 7 (in)गच्छति gacchtiगच्छतोः gacchatohगच्छत्सु gacchatsu
Case 8 (address)गच्छन् gacchanगच्छन्तौ gacchantauगच्छन्तः gacchantah

Now in the next table, we look at the present parasmaipada participle as it deals with neuter gender.

गच्छत् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 subjectगच्छत् gacchat

गच्छती gacchatī
गच्छन्ति gacchanti
Case 2 objectगच्छत् gacchat
गच्छती gacchatī
गच्छन्ति gacchanti
Case 8 addressगच्छत् gacchat
गच्छती gacchatī

गच्छन्ति gacchanti

The participle words can create lots of doubts. For example the word “gacchati”, which means he goes but it can also mean “is the one who is going”. Words such as bhavate could also be participles and regular verbs.
Now let us take a look at how the verb functions when it comes to ātmanepada as well as passive. The syllables “-mana” is added to the original verb stem. This (masculine verb) word than ends in “-a”, however, the feminine form ends in -ā.
In the table given below are a few examples of the above-mentioned kind of words.

Verb stem Present participle.
भू , become भवमान, becoming
लभ् , obtain लभमान, obtaining.

Now let us look at the examples of passive verbs.

Verb stem Present participle
भू, , become. भूयमान, being become.
लभ् , obtained लभ्यमान, being obtained
कृ, do  क्रियमाण, being done

The Atmanepada and the passive verbs share a lot of similarities. They may have the same ending and the same suffix. A major reason for this is that it is believed that the passive words in the Sanskrit language came for atmanepade words. Together they are also called mediopassive words.

Participle has a primary function; this primary function is how to show two actions together. It is the nature of participles to show how two actions occur simultaneously. As we move further, we deal with how the present participle functions in the case 7 and case 6.

First, we shall look at examples of case 7, in the sentence given below.

सूर्ये काशमाने वयं ग्रामं गच्छामः
sūrye kāśamāne vayaṃ grāmaṃ gacchāmaḥ
As the sun shines, we go to the village.

It is important to notice that the noun maintains a distinct position, separate from the rest of the sentence, (look at the first part of the sentence).
Now, look at the example of the next sentence.

तेषु वनं चरत्सु वयं ग्रामं गच्छामः
teṣu vanaṃ caratsu vayaṃ grāmaṃ gacchāmaḥ
As they walk to the forest, we go to the village.

Note how in this second example, both the parts of the sentence have a similarity of gender and number. Also notice that when we change the tense from present to past, the way the sentence is formed remains the same.

Just like case seven, case six also deals with the formation of a sentence that deals with simultaneous action; however, this is done in a different way. As far as the case six is concerned, no participle is used. However, the word “being” is used in the absence of the participle. Just like case7, this can also be understood with an example.

क्रोधे गजं तुदति
krodhe gajaṃ tudati
Being angry, he strikes the elephant.

It is in this way that the present participle functions with regards to gender, case as well as number.