Typographical error in the Bhagavad-Gita?

Claude Setzer cssetzer at MUM.EDU
Tue Jan 4 15:05:30 EST 2000


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ravi Chawla 

 
"Mam hi partha vyapastriya ye'pi syuh papa-yonayah

istriyo vaisyas tatha sudras te'pi yanti param gatim."                                 (Gita 9:32)

 This translates into:  "O son of Partha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower class - women, vaisya or sudra, - they can reach the supreme goal."

 Where is the error?  The error seems to be in the word 'Istriyo' ( women), instead I feel  it should be the word 'Ksatriyo' ( a social order).  It seems anyhow the word 'Istriyo' was transposed for the word 'Ksatriyo' centuries ago while Gita was being copied.

  I think there are two things that are not being considered by you here:
  1) The transmission of these texts was mostly by recitation, not by transcription.

  2) The concept of the women being in a lower position, whether valid or not, was a common theme in Sanskrit literature. It is not, by any means, stated only in the Gita.

  As for your curiosity about the non-mention of kshatriyas, it is also common to consider Brahmana and Kshatriya as having similar spiritual position, in comparison to "lower" castes.
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