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Agent noun, according to Uṇ. iv, 144 synchronically formed from verbal root कृ (kṛ, to do, make, perform etc.) +‎ -मन् (-man); the root is from Proto-Indo-European *kʷer- (to do, make).


कर्मन् (kármann

  1. act, action, performance, business (RV., AV., ŚBr., MBh. etc.)
    • RV 1.31.8c
      तवं नो अग्ने सनये धनानां यशसं कारुं कर्णुहि सतवानः |
      रध्याम कर्मापसा नवेन देवैर्द्यावाप्र्थिवी परावतं नः ||
      tvaṃ no aghne sanaye dhanānāṃ yaśasaṃ kāruṃ kṛṇuhi stavānaḥ |
      ṛdhyāma karmāpasā navena devairdyāvāpṛthivī prāvataṃ naḥ ||
      O Agni, highly lauded, make our singer famous that he may win us store of riches:
      May we improve the rite with new performance. O Earth and Heaven, with all the Gods, protect us.
    • RV 1.62.6a
      तदु परयक्षतममस्य कर्म दस्मस्य चारुतममस्ति दंसः |
      उपह्वरे यदुपरा अपिन्वन मध्वर्णसो नद्यश्चतस्रः ||
      tadu prayakṣatamamasya karma dasmasya cārutamamasti daṃsaḥ |
      upahvare yaduparā apinvan madhvarṇaso nadyaścatasraḥ ||
      This is the deed most worthy of all honour, the fairest marvel of the Wonder-Worker,
      That, nigh where heaven bends down, he made four rivers flow full with waves that carry down sweet water.
  2. office, special duty, occupation, obligation; frequently at the end of a compound, the first member of the compound being either the person who performs the action
    वणिक्कर्मन् (vaṇik-karman)the business or occupation of a merchant, trade
  3. or the person or thing for or towards whom the action is performed
    राजकर्मन् (rāja-karman)the business or duty of a king
    पशुकर्मन् (paśu-karman)the act of offering the victim, sacrifice
  4. or a specification of the action (ŚBr., Mn., Bhartṛ. etc.)
    शौर्यकर्मन् (śaurya-karman)an heroic deed
    प्रीतिकर्मन् (prīti-karman)an act of friendship or love, kind action
  5. any religious act or rite (as sacrifice, oblation etc., especially as originating in the hope of future recompense and as opposed to speculative religion or knowledge of spirit) (RV., AV., VS., Ragh. etc.)
    • RV 6.37.2a
      प्रो द्रोणे हरयः कर्माग्मन् पुनानास ऋज्यन्तो अभूवन् |
      इन्द्रो नो अस्य पूर्व्यः पपीयाद् द्युक्षो मदस्य सोम्यस्य राजा ||
      pro droṇe harayaḥ karmāgman punānāsa ṛjyanto abhūvan |
      indro no asya pūrvyaḥ papīyād dyukṣo madasya somyasya rājā ||
      Forth to the vat the brown drops flow for service, and purified proceed directly forward.
      May Indra drink of this, our guest aforetime, Celestial King of the strong draught of Soma.
  6. work, labour, activity (as opposed to rest, प्रशान्ति (praśānti)) (Hit., RPrāt. etc.)
  7. physicking, medical attendance (Car.)
  8. action consisting in motion, as the third among the seven categories of the Nyaya philosophy; of these motions there are five, namely उत्क्षेपण (ut-kṣepaṇa), अवक्षेपण (ava-kṣepaṇa), आकुञ्चन (ā-kuñcana), प्रसारण (prasāraṇa), and गमन (gamana) (Bhāshāp., Tarkas.)
  9. calculation (Sūryas.)
  10. product, result, effect (Mn. xii, 98 Suśr.)
  11. organ of sense or action (ŚBr. xiv)
    कर्मेन्द्रिय (karme-ndriya)an organ of sense
  12. (grammar) the object that it stands either in the accusative (in active construction), or in the nominative (in passive construction), or in the genitive (in connection with a noun of action); opposed to कर्तृ (kartṛ́), the subject. (Pāṇ. 1-4, 49 ff.) It is of four kinds, namely a. निर्वर्त्य (nir-vartya), when anything new is produced:
    कटं करोति (kaṭaṃ karoti) — he makes a mat
    पुत्रं प्रसूते (putraṃ prasūte) — she bears a son; विकार्य (vi-kārya), when change is implied either of the substance and form:
    काष्ठं भस्म करोति (kāṣṭhaṃ bhasma karoti) — he reduces fuel to ashes; or of the form only e.g.
    सुवर्णं कुण्डलं करोति (suvarṇaṃ kuṇḍalaṃ karoti) — he fashions gold into an ear-ring; प्राप्य (prā-pya), when any desired object is attained:
    ग्रामं गच्च्हति (grāmaṃ gacchati) — he goes to the village
    चन्द्रं पश्यति (candraṃ paśyati) — he sees the moon; अनीप्सित (an-īpsita), when an undesired object is abandoned:
    पापं त्यजति (pāpaṃ tyajati) — he leaves the wicked
  13. former act as leading to inevitable results, fate (as the certain consequence of acts in a previous life); karma (Pañcat., Hit., Buddh.)
    कर्मपाक (karma-pāka)"ripening of acts", matured result of previous acts or actions done in a former birth
    कर्मविपाक (karma-vipāka)"the ripening of actions" i.e. the good or evil consequences in this life of human acts performed in previous births
  14. the tenth lunar mansion (VarBṛS. etc.)


Neuter n-stem declension of कर्मन्
Nom. sg. कर्म (karma)
Gen. sg. कर्म्णः (karmṇaḥ)
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative कर्म (karma) कर्मणी (karmaṇī) कर्माणि (karmāṇi)
Vocative कर्म (karma) कर्मणी (karmaṇī) कर्माणि (karmāṇi)
Accusative कर्म (karma) कर्मणी (karmaṇī) कर्माणि (karmāṇi)
Instrumental कर्म्णा (karmṇā) कर्मभ्याम् (karmabhyām) कर्मभिः (karmabhiḥ)
Dative कर्म्णे (karmṇe) कर्मभ्याम् (karmabhyām) कर्मभ्यः (karmabhyaḥ)
Ablative कर्म्णः (karmṇaḥ) कर्मभ्याम् (karmabhyām) कर्मभ्यः (karmabhyaḥ)
Genitive कर्म्णः (karmṇaḥ) कर्म्णोः (karmṇoḥ) कर्म्णाम् (karmṇām)
Locative कर्म्णि (karmṇi) कर्म्णोः (karmṇoḥ) कर्मसु (karmasu)



  • Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1898) A Sanskrit-English dictionary etymologically and philologically arranged with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages, Oxford: Clarendon Press, page 0258