Tag Archives: sandhi

Complete Sandhi Mnemonic, Explanation, and Examples for स् (-s)

~~~~ Rhymes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When at the end, S becomes the visarga.
If met without voice, it converts to that varga.

When met with a voice, S becomes R.
(But don’t let it double, that would take it too far.)

When S comes with A, there’s a few things to test
With consonant voice, make A O and drop S

With vowels, if A is the voice than it too
disappears. If not, only the S has to shoo.

S also might come with a friend called “Long A”
When that happens, again, only S goes away.

~~~~ Explanation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“When at the end, S becomes the visarga.”

When स् (s) comes at the end of a word that stands alone or is at the very end of a statement, change it to the visarga, : (ḥ).

“If met without voice, it converts to that varga.”

If स् (s) comes before an unvoiced consonant: Alter the स् (s) to match the वर्ग (varga) of the following consonant.

“When met with a voice, S becomes R.”

If स् (s) comes before a voiced sound (which includes both consonants and vowels, except /a): Change the स् (s) to र् (r).

“(But don’t let it double, that would take it too far.)”

If र्र (rr) results from the above process, drop the first र् (r) and make the previous vowel long.

“When S comes with A, there’s a few things to test”

There are special considerations for अस् (-as)…

“With consonant voice, make A O and drop S”

If अस् (-as) comes before a Voiced Consonant: Change the (a) to (o) and drop the स् (s).

“With vowels, if A is the voice than it too [disappears.]”

If अस् (-as) comes before the (a) vowel, do the same as above, and also drop the following (a).

“If not, only the S has to shoo.”

If अस् (-as) comes before a vowel other than (a), only drop the स् (s), not the vowel.

S also might come with a friend called “Long A”
When that happens, again, only S goes away.

This is a special rule for अास् (-ās). When it comes before any vowel or voiced consonant: just drop the स् (s)

~~~~ Examples ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“When at the end, S becomes the visarga.”

When स् (s) comes at the end of a word that stands alone or is at the very end of a statement, change it to the visarga, : (ḥ).

अग्निस् = अग्निः

agnis. = agniḥ.

“If met without voice, it converts to that varga.”

If स् (s) comes before an unvoiced consonant: Alter the स् (s) to match the वर्ग (varga) of the following consonant.

रामस् + चलति = रामश्चलति

rāmas + calati = rāmaś-calati

(Rāma wanders)

हरिस् + चलति = हरिश्चलति

haris + calati = hariś-calati

(Hari wanders)

विष्णोस् + छया = विष्णोश्छया

viṣṇos + chayā = viṣṇoś-chayā

(Viṣṇu’s shadow)

/ (ca/cha) is from the palate-group, so the स् (s) becomes the palate-sibilant, श् (ś).

हरिस् + टीकां करोति = हरिष्टीकां करोति

haris + ṭīkāṁ karoti = hariṣ-ṭīkāṁ karoti

(Hari writes a commentary)

(ṭa) is from the roof-group, so the स् (s) becomes the roof-sibilant, ष् (ṣ).

अग्निस् + तीक्ष्णः = अग्निस्तीक्ष्णः

agnis + tīkṣṇaḥ = agnis-tīkṣṇaḥ

(Fire is fierce)

(ta) is from the tooth-group, so the स् (s) remains as the tooth-sibilant, स् (s).

हरिस् + पश्यति = हरिः पश्यति

haris + paśyati = hariḥ paśyati

(Hari sees)

रामस् + पश्यति = रामः पश्यति

rāmas + paśyati = rāmaḥ paśyati

(Rāma sees)

(pa) is from the lip-group, so the स् (s) would become a lip-sibilant, an “f” sound, which is approximated in Sanskrit by : (ḥ).

हरिस् + खनति = हरिः खनति

haris + khanati = hariḥ khanati

(Hari digs)

(kha) is from the throat-group, so the स् (s) changes to the throat-sibilant, approximated in Sanskrit by : (ḥ).

रामस् + सीतां पश्यति = रामः सीतां पश्यति

rāmas + sītaṁ paśyati = rāmaḥ sītaṁ paśyati

(Rāma sees Sītā)

Before another sibilant, स् (s) also transforms to : (ḥ).

“When met with a voice, S becomes R.”

If स् (s) comes before a voiced sound (which includes both consonants and vowels, except /a): Change the स् (s) to र् (r).

गतिस् + नास्ति = गतिर्नास्ति

gatis + nāsti = gatir-nāsti

(Impossible)

हरेस् + गौस् = हरेर्गौः

hares + gaus = harer-gau

(Hari’s cow)

अग्निस् + इव = अग्निरिव

agnis + iva = agnir-iva

(Fire-like)

विष्णोस् + आयुधम् = विष्णोरायुधम्

viṣṇos + āyudham = viṣṇoyudham

(Viṣṇu’s weapon)

“(But don’t let it double, that would take it too far.)”

If र्र (rr) results from the above process, drop the first र् (r) and make the previous vowel long.

अग्निस् + रोचते = अग्नीरोचते

agnis + rocate = agnī-rocate

(Fire shines)

अग्निस् (agnis) first becomes अग्निर् (agnir), but because the next sound is the र् (r) of रोचते (rocate), the र् (r) at the end of अग्निर् (agnir) is dropped and the previous vowel is made long, resulting in अग्नी (agnī).

“When S comes with A, there’s a few things to test”

There are special considerations for अस् (-as)…

“With consonant voice, make A O and drop S”

If अस् (-as) comes before a Voiced Consonant: Change the (a) to (o) and drop the स् (s).

रामस् + गच्छति = रामो गच्छति

rāmas + gacchati = rāmo gacchati

(Rāma goes)

A short “a” preceded the “s”, which was followed by “g,” a voiced consonant. The “a” changed to “o.” The “s” was destroyed.

पश्यतस् + राज्ञः = पश्यतो राज्ञः

paśyatas + rājñaḥ = paśyato rājñaḥ

(While the king watches)

A short “a” preceded the “s”, which was followed by “r,” a voiced consonant. The “a” changed to “o.” The “s” was destroyed.

“With vowels, if A is the voice than it too [disappears.]”

If अस् (-as) comes before the (a) vowel, do the same as above, and also drop the following (a).

रामस् + अयम् = रामोयम्

rāmas + ayam = ramo’yam

(He is Rāma)

पश्यतस् + अर्जुनस्य = पश्यतोर्जुनस्य

paśyatas + arjunasya = paśyato’rjunasya

(While Arjuna watches)

A short “a” preceded the “s”, which was followed by “a.” The first “a” changed to “o.” The “s” was destroyed. The second “a” was also destroyed.

“If not, only the S has to shoo.”

If अस् (-as) comes before a vowel other than (a), only drop the स् (s), not the vowel.

रामस् + उवाच = राम उवाच

rāmas + uvāca = rāma uvāca

(Rāma said)

बुद्धस् + इव विद्यया = बुद्ध इव विद्यया

buddhas + iva vidyayā = buddha iva vidyayā

(Wise like Buddha)

S also might come with a friend called “Long A”
When that happens, again, only S goes away.

This is a special rule for अास् (-ās). When it comes before any vowel or voiced consonant: just drop the स् (s)

हतास् वीरास् गच्छन्ति स्वर्गलोकम् = हता वीरा गच्छन्ति स्वर्गलोकम्

hatās vīrās gacchanti svargalokam = hatā vīrā gacchanti svargalokam

(Slain heroes go to paradise)

Pronoun exception:

If the root word is सः (saḥ/“he”) or ऐषः (eṣaḥ/“that”), just drop the स् (s), don’t change the (a) to an (o).

ऐषस् + शुकस् + अस्ति = ऐष शुकोस्ति

eṣas + śukas + asti = eṣa śuko ‘sti.

(That is a parrot)

सस् + कृष्णस् = स कृष्णः

sas + kṛṣṇas. = sa kṛṣṇaḥ.

(He is Krishna)

Advertisements

Rooting out the Meaning

Noun = Prefix(es) Root Suffix(es)
लाभ
lābha labh a
Profit to gain
मान
 māna man a
 Regard to think
 संतार
 saṁtāra sam tar a
 Inclusively Surpassing to surpass
 निन्दन
 nindana nind ana
 Defamy, censure to insult
 भग
 bhaga bhag a
 Opulence, Fortune to divide / share
 वर्तन
 vartana vart ana
Motion to move
 बोधन
 bodhana bodh ana
 Comprehension to comprehend
 स्थान
 sthāna stha ana
 Place  to stand
 दर्शन
 darśana dṛś ana
 Audience / Meeting to see
 अादर्श
 ādarśa ā dṛś a
 Illustration / Display to see

English to Sanskrit

Let’s figure out how to say, “With his eye, the man sees the bliss of the village.

“Eye” can be akṣa or nayana or netra. Let’s use netra. We have to conjugate it in the “with” case. That’s case 3, and the ending is -ena, e replacing the a. So, netreṇa means “with his eye.”

The man is the subject: naraḥ.

The man sees: paśyati.

Bliss is ānanada. Village is grāma. We need village to be in the “of” case,  Case 6, where the ending is -sya. So, grāmasya. Now the two words form a pair, we’ll put the thing that possesses the other thing first. Villiage possesses bliss, so village first, followed by bliss: grāmasya+ānanda = grāmasyānanda. We have to make sure this is understood to be the object of the seeing, so the compound should get the inflection of an object, -m. So, grāmasyānandam

Put the words together: naraḥ netreṇa grāmasyānandam paśyati. Make considerations for Sandhi: naro netreṇa grāmasyānandaṁ paśyati. 

नरो नेत्रेण ग्रामस्यानन्दं पश्यति

Sandhi Tables (Word Blending)

Vowel + Vowel

Across the top of the table find the last letter of word 1, and down the left of the table find the first letter of word 2. The cell where that column and row intersect is the combined vowel sound. When there are two letters in a cell, the second represents the changed first letter of word two.

A I E AI U O AU
A ā ya e ā a va o āva ra
Ā ā a ā ā ā a ā āvā
I e ī a ī ā ī a ī āvī
E ai ye a e ā e ve a e āve re
AI ai yai a ai ā ai vai a ai āvai rai
U o a ū ā ū ū a ū āvū
O au yo a o ā o vo a o āvo ro
AU au yau a au ā au vau a au āvau rau
ar yṛ a ṛ ā ṛ vṛ a ṛ āvṛ

You might quickly notice that after you get past the “a” column, things start to follow a definitie pattern. The vowel at the end of word 1 tends to change, and the vowel at the beginning of word 2 tends to remain whatever it originally was.

Consonant + Consonant

The top row shows the possible final letters of Sanskrit words. The left column shows the possible initial letters. The intersecting cell shows how the final letter will change when it blends with the initial letter. If letters are in (parens) the letters in (parens) indicate the changed initial letter.

 

 

k

t

p

ḥ/r

āḥ

aḥ

n

m

un
voiced

k(h)

c(h)

c

ś

ṁś

ṭ(h)

ṁṣ

t(h)

s

ṁs

p(h)

voiced

g(h)

g

d

b

r

ā

o

j(h)

j

ñ

ḍ(h)

d(h)

d

b(h)

nasals

n

n

m

m

semi
vowels

y/v

g

d

b

r

zero

l

l

r

l

silibants

ś

c (ch)

ñ(ś/ch)

ṣ/s

aspirant

h

g (gh)

ḍ (ḍh)

d (dh)

b (bh)

r

ā

o

vowels

 

g

d

b

a

n/nn

ṅ/ṅṅ

  • (un)Voiced: If the second word has a voiced consonant, the end of the first word has to change to the voiced version.
  • Nasals: If word two starts with a nasal, the ending of word one becomes a nasal, too.
  • Semivowels: If word two starts with a semivowel the letter at the end of word one has to become “voiced.”
  • SilibantsIf word two stars with some type of s the last letter of word one tends not to change.
  • Vowels: If word two starts with a vowel and word one ends with a consonant, that consonant becomes voiced.
  • ḥ ṛ: If word one ends with a dotted h or r, and word two starts with a voiceless consonant – the end of word one changes to one of the hissing sounds corresponding to the throat position of the consonant starting word two. 

Practice with Sanskrit Nouns as Objects

Sanskrit to English

कनकं नाक्षरं
kanakaṁ nākṣaraṁ
gold is not imperishable

विज्ञानं देवाः सर्व तदुपासते
vijñānaṁ devāḥ sarva tadupāsate 
all the gods worship that wisdom

क्षान्तिः
kṣāntiḥ
forebearance

राज्ञो माता मां वसनं ददाति
rājo mātā māṁ vasanaṁ dadāti
the king’s mother gave me clothes

पिपासाया तस्मै कर्तव्यं न करोमि
pipāsāyā tasmai kartavyaṁ na karomi
He is so thirsty, I don’t know what to do

पावक वायो रुद्राक्षर
pāvaka vāyo rūdrākṣara
Purifier! Blower! Howler!

English to Sanskrit

We will need to remember our subject and object noun inflections, so:

(for “-a” Masculine Nouns) 
SINGULAR DUAL PLURAL
CASE 1 (SUBJECT)
-ḥ
-u
-aḥ
CASE 2 (OBJECT)
-m
-u
-an

The lion strikes the man.
siṁhaḥ naram tudati
siṁho naraṁ tudati

The wolf leads the boys.
vṛkaḥ bālān nayati
vṛko bālān nayati

The rabbit remembers us. (need to remember the pronouns?)
śaśaḥ asmān smarati
śaśo ‘smān smarati

The man grieves for us.
naraḥ asmān śocati
naro ‘smān śocati

The man wants the two horses.
naraḥ aśvau icchati
naro ‘śvāv icchati

The elephant walks to us
gajaḥ asmān carati
gajo ‘smān carati

He remembers the lions.
saḥ siṁhān smarati
sa siṁhān smarati

The wolves walk to you.
vṛkāḥ tm caranti
vṛkās tvāṁ caranti

The hero conquers all of you.
vīraḥ yuṣmān jayati
vīro yuṣmān jayati

I speak.
aham bhāṣe
ahaṁ bhāṣe

They ask the two of them.
te tau pṛcchanti

The rabbit desires them.
śaśaḥ tān icchati
śaśas tān icchati

The horses lead me.
aśvāḥ mām nayanti
aśvā māṁ nayanti

The man obtains them.
naraḥ tān labhate
naras tān labhate

You steal the horse.
tvam āśvam corayasi
tvam ācvaṁ corayasi

He finds the boys
saḥ bālān vindati
sa bālān vindati

The boys strike the elephants
bālāḥ gajān tudanti
bālā gajān tudanti

They are men.
te narāḥ

The wolves become confused.
vṛkāḥ muhyanti
vṛkā muhyanti

We are heroes.
vayam vīrāḥ
vayaṁ vīrāḥ

He leads the lion to the village.
sa siṁham gramam nayati
sa siṁhaṁ gramaṁ nayati

They want the horses.
te aśvān icchanti

Sandhi Practice

Here is a mantra without sandhi:

saha nau avatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryam karavāvahai
tejasvi nau adhītam astu mā vidviṣāvahai
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

Here, in bold, are the parts that need to blend better, via sandhi:

saha nau avatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryam karavāvahai
tejasvi nau adhītam astu mā vidviṣāvahai
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

The rule (for the situations in bold, above) is that the compound vowel will first become stronger (“au” will become “āu”) and then second part of the compound vowel changes to the most similar semi-vowel. So the should change to “nāv avatu.”

Incidentially this is a mantra from several Upanishads. It is spoken by a couple beginning a partnership. The translation is something like this: “May he protect us both. May he nourish us both. [So that] we may do poweful things, and our study will be glorious. May we never denounce each other.”

Here is another mantra without sandhi:

sarvaṁ brahma aupaniṣadam

The parts that need to change are in bold:

sarvaṁ brahma aupaniṣadam

The rule for an “a” appearing before a relatively strong compound is that the “a” disappears. So, with sandhi the mantra is:

sarvaṁ brahmaupaniṣadam

Which means that the Upanishads describe the spiritual substance of everything.

Exercises with Sanskrit Pronouns

Sanskrit to English

स पश्यति

What do you think that means? How about if I put it in a more familiar alphabet:

sa paśyati

What do you think it means?

When two words come together their sounds blend. That’s why we need to learn sandhi – the rules of blending. In this case, the unblended words are:

saḥ paśyati

Saḥ means “he” and paśyati means “he sees.” As you can see, it’s not necessary to even say “Saḥ” because paśyati already contains the information “he.” That’s why pronouns are seldom used in Sanskrit, compared to how frequently other languages use them. We’ll use them in Sanskrit when they add some emphasis or fill out some poetic meter, or, rarely, clarify something complicated.

Here’s another one:

सो ऽहम्

What’s that? You’ve not been studying your devanāgarī alphabets!? OK, in a more familiar script:

so ‘ham

Any idea what it means? First undo the blending. It is saḥ + aham. This is a sentence of two pronouns and nothing else! Again, saḥ means “he.” Aham means “I.” So, what do you think it means?

“I am him.” or “He is me.”

This is a famous “mantra” of people who are trying to realize oneness with divinity.

Sanskrit to English

Let’s translate these with pronouns, even though it’s not necessary.

“You think”

How would you say that in Sanskrit? Well, what’s the word for think? It’s मन् (man). Now, how would we inflect this root so that it expresses “you think”? Well, we need to remember some stuff, so let’s break out or notes on the inflection table for this type of word:

SINGULAR DUAL PLURAL
THIRD PERSON -te -nte
SECOND PERSON -se
FIRST PERSON -e (as a replacement) -avahe -amaḥe

We want to say you think. You is “second person, singular” So the ending would be -se. The root man becomes a stem by becoming manya. So the way we say you think is मन्यसे (manyase). The pronoun for you is त्वं (tvaṁ). So:

त्वं मन्यसे (tvaṁ manyase) is how you say “you think.”

How about this:

I become confused

The word for confused is मोह् (moh) which becomes usable as the stem मुह्य (muhya). We need our inflection table for this type of word:

SINGULAR DUAL PLURAL
THIRD PERSON -ti -nti
SECOND PERSON -si
FIRST PERSON -ami -avaḥ -amaḥ

“I” is “first-person, singular” – so add “-ami” to the end of muhya and you get muhyāmi (मुह्यामि). Now add the pronoun for “I”:

अहं मुह्यामि (ahaṁ muhyāmi)

I suppose you could also make “become” more explicit and say ahaṁ muhyāmi bhavāmi. But in truth, if you just say muhyāmi you communicate the whole content of “I become confused.”

He asks

Take the word pṛccha and put it in third-person, singular (for “he”) and you get pṛcchati. Then add the pronoun saḥ and do the blending correctly: स पृच्छति (sa pṛcchati).

You go

Put the word gaccha in p2s (shorthand for Second-person singular) and you get gacchasi. Add the pronoun tvaṁ: त्वं गच्छसि (tvaṁ gacchasi).

The two of use hit/attack

Put the word tuda in p1d (first person dual) and you get tuda+avaḥ = tudāvaḥ. Now add the p1d pronoun. I’ve forgotten what it is, so here’s the table:

1 2 >2
1st अहम्
aham“I”
आवाम्
āvām“We Two”
वयम्
vayam“We”
2nd त्वम्
tvam“You”
युवाम्
yūvām“You Two”
यूयम्
yūyam“All of You”

 

1 2 >2
3rd सः
saḥ“He”
तौ
tau“Those Two” (m)
ते
te“They” (m)

So, the p1d pronoun is āvām. Thus: आवाम्तुदावः (āvām tudāvaḥ)

They are born

OK, put the word jāya into p3p (third person plural) and you get jāyanti. But we want it in the self-serving sense (since birth is something that affects the subject) so it should be jāyante. Add the pronoun for “they”: te jāyanti ते जायन्ते

We adore

The word for adore is bhaja. Put it in p1p: bhajāmaḥ would be serving the object, and bhajāmahe would be serving the self. The concept in Sanskrit culture is that love actually benefits the person lover more than the beloved. So it is used in the self-serving sense: bhajāmahe. Add the right pronoun: वयम्भजामहे (vayam bhajāmahe)

We speak

The word for “speak” is bhāṣa. It is also thought of as self-serving. So the p1p inflection is the same as for “we adore”, bhāṣāmahe. With the right pronoun: वयम्भाषामहे (vayam bhāṣāmahe).

They gain

Gain is self-serving. The word is labha, in p3p it’s labhante. So: ते लभन्ते (te labhante).

You illuminate

I’m not sure why illumination is grammatically “self-serving” but apparently it is. The word is kāśa, which becomes kāśase in p2s (second person singular). So: त्वं काशसे (tvaṁ kāśase).

I criticize

Ninda in p1s in nindāmi. So: अहं निन्दामि (ahaṁ nindāmi).

He speaks

It’s tempting to say सः भाषसे (saḥ bhāṣase) but remember the rules of blending. The “ḥ” will disappear in front of a voiced consonant like b/bh. So, it’s स भाषसे (sa bhāṣase).

Sanskrit Pronouns

Theoretically मद् (mad) is the root for the first-person pronoun (“I”), and त्वद् (tvad) the root for the second-person pronoun (“you”) – but the relation between the roots and the actual words used in speech are very irregular.

1 2 >2
1st अहम्
aham“I”
आवाम्
āvām“We Two”
वयम्
vayam“We”
2nd त्वम्
tvam“You”
युवाम्
yūvām“You Two”
यूयम्
yūyam“All of You”

There are cognates to english. Yūyam is related to “you.” Tvam relates to “thou.” Vayam sounds like “we” and aham is remotely like “I.”

The third-person pronoun (“He / She / It”) has gender, so is more complicated. First let’s learn about the masculine gender.

1 2 >2
3rd सः
saḥ“He”
तौ
tau“Those Two” (m)
ते
te“They” (m)

Sandhi for -m

This is one of the easiest sandhi’s to remember:

If “m” finishes a word, and the next word starts with a cononant, the “m” will become “ṁ” – otherwise nothing changes.

अहम् पृच्छामि = अहं पृच्छामि
aham pṛcchāmi = aha pṛcchāmi
{“I ask”}

Sandhi for saḥ

It follows the regular “ḥ” rules except that if the word saḥ comes before another word that starts with a consonnant, only the “ḥ” goes away, not the whole “aḥ”

स पश्यति sa paśyati {“he sees”}

स गच्छति sa gacchati {“He goes”}

In these two examples, saḥ became sa because the next word began with a consonant.

सः इच्छति saḥ icchati {“he wants”}

In this example, saḥ remains as it is because the next word begins with a vowel.

सोऽश्वः so ‘śvaḥ {“he’s a horse”}

This looks weird but its following the “normal” rule for “aḥ” blending with “a”, the “aḥ” at the end of the first word changes to “o” and the “a” at the beginning of the next word disappears.

Dealing with “Ḥ”

You don’t have to explicitly state a verb in sanskrit, you can simply state two nouns, thus implying their equivalence. For example:

नरः वीरः naraḥ vīraḥ {“The man is a hero.”}

शिष्याः पुत्राः śiṣyāḥ putrāḥ {“The students are sons.”}

Sandhi of “ḥ”

Lots of these nouns, in verbless sentences, often end in “ḥ” – so let’s learn how “ḥ” undergoes sandhi to join with an adjacent sound. Here are the two most important principles:

If possible, “ḥ” tries to duplicate the consonant that follows it.

 

“ḥ” can’t remain in between two “voiced” sounds

 

If the next sound is a vowel, “ḥ” disappears and the vowels don’t combine further.

नरःइच्छति → नर इच्छति [naraḥ icchati → nara icchati] {“The man wants.”}

If the next sound is a “voiced consonnant” (not just a clicky sound, but also with a tone to it: g, j, d, b and h sounds, for example), the “ḥ” and the preceeding “a” (“aḥ”) change into “o”.

नरःगाच्छति → नरो गच्छति [naraḥ gacchati → naro gacchati] {“The man goes.”}

नरः हसति → नरो हसति [naraḥ hasati → naro hasati] {“The man smiles.”}

This same thing happens if the next sound is “a”, except that the “a” will also disappear.

नरः अश्वः→ नरो ऽश्वः [naraḥ aśvaḥ → naro ‘śvaḥ] {“The man is a horse.”}

If the next sound is an “unvoiced consonant” (clicky, no tone), “ḥ” changes an “s.” There are three types of “s” sounds in Sanskrit, so “ḥ” will change to the type of “s” that is pronounced in the same part of the mouth as the next sound.

नरः चरति→ नरश् चरति [naraḥ carati → naraś carati] {“The man walks”}

नरः तिष्ठति → नरस् तिष्ठति [naraḥ tiṣṭhati → naras tiṣṭhati] {“The man stands”}

In classical and subsequent Sanskrit there are no longer “s” sounds for two categories of letters (“ka” sounds and “pa” sounds), but in the more ancient, Vedic, Sanskrit there were. The ka-type “s” (pronounced in the throat) was a guttural like German “ch.” The pa-type “s” (pronounced on the lips) was like an “f.” One approach is to revive these letters and use those. We are learning classical Sanskrit though. The more common approach is that if an “s” doesn’t exist that matched the next unvoiced consonnant (i.e. the next sound is “k” or “p”) the “ḥ” is just left unchanged. Similarly if the next sound is an ‘s’, the ‘ḥ’ is left unchanged.

नरः पृच्छति [naraḥ pṛcchati] {“The man asks”}

नरः स्मरति [naraḥ smarati] {“The man remembers”}

There are way too many specific rules for Sandhi. It’s better to learn them naturally, as a result of being familiar with classification of sounds and the natural, easy way they blend together. We are going over some of the specific rules just to get a feeling for the classification of sounds and the principles of how they blend. We wont get totally derailed into trying to master sandhi, since that will happen naturally just by trying to learn Sanskrit.