[INDOLOGY] Texts and bodily metaphors

Dean Michael Anderson eastwestcultural at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 10 22:00:24 EDT 2015

The Darshanas are also called "upangas" which could be translated as "subsidiary limbs" or, I suppose, "joints". Perhaps someone else has a textual reference for it.


      From: Will Sweetman <will.sweetman at gmail.com>
 To: Indology <indology at list.indology.info> 
 Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 5:33 AM
 Subject: [INDOLOGY] Texts and bodily metaphors
Dear all
I'm working on some early European accounts of the Vedas including what I think is the very first reference to the Vedas in a European text. This was published in Couto's Da Asia, but is in fact taken from another work written by an Augustinian friar Agostinho de Azevedo in 1603. Azevedo (in my translation) says that the Brahmins:
"have many books in their Latin, which they call Geredão which contain everything they are to believe, and all the ceremonies they are to perform. These books are divided into bodies [corpos], limbs [membros] and joints [articulos], whose originals are those they call Veados, which are divided into four parts, and these further into fifty-two parts in the following manner: six which they call Xastra, which are the bodies, eighteen which they call Purana, which are the limbs, twenty-eight called Agamon which are the joints."

This formulation, with variations, is repeated in many subsequent European sources. The terms for the divisions (corpos,membros, articulos), which are not so often repeated, have usually been translated more literally as bodies, members and articles (or articulations). 
I'm curious as to whether anyone is aware of an Indian source which uses these metaphors. I'm aware, of course of the Vedāṇgas, but I think the six here are clearly meant to be the śāstras/darśanas. This may indicate some muddling—or sheer invention—on Azevedo's part, but in other instances I've found it best to look first for an Indian source or idea an early European writer may be following rather than immediately assuming error or invention, so I'd welcome any leads and/or comments on translating membros as limbs and articulos as joints. "Articles" for the latter seems to me to be a particularly unilluminating translation.

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