[INDOLOGY] Fwd: aja as ajaya?

Artur Karp karp at uw.edu.pl
Sun Aug 28 02:09:08 EDT 2016


Dear Nancy and David,

Dzięki, człowiek wciąż się uczy; there is no end to learning (, but there
are many beginnings),

Regards,

Artur

2016-08-27 2:25 GMT+02:00 David and Nancy Reigle <dnreigle at gmail.com>:

> Dear Madhav and all,
>
>
> The lack of a syllable in this pāda certainly makes *ajaya* for *aja* a
> simple and obvious fix for the problem. I recall an early Vedic scholar (I
> have forgotten who) writing that the very fact that an emendation is
> obvious is good reason not to make the emendation, because it would have
> also been obvious to the whole line of Sanskrit pandits who transmitted the
> text, yet who did not make the emendation. We seem to have the same
> situation here. I originally did not make the obvious emendation because
> all eight Sanskrit manuscripts unanimously agreed in having *aja* here.
> Then came confirmation of this by the occurrence of *aja* in the prose
> commentary on 1.27, three times. Then two more old palm-leaf Sanskrit
> manuscripts became available to me, also having *aja*. Most recently, Tsa
> mi’s early Tibetan translation became available, having the transliterated
> *aja*. Not a single source has *ajaya*. So I am obliged to conclude that
> *aja* is the actual form of the name.
>
>
> Unlike the Vedic texts with their long history, the Kālacakra texts only
> appeared in India about a thousand years ago. There was no time for a
> corruption to occur in the transmission of the text and then become
> established in the tradition. The early translators all lived within the
> first few generations after the Kālacakra texts appeared in India. Two of
> the palm-leaf Sanskrit manuscripts we have are old enough to have been
> brought to Tibet, presumably by the early translators. The question, then,
> is whether the *ajaya* meaning for *aja* is a mistake, like the *abja*
> meaning most likely is, or whether the name *aja* was actually understood
> in the meaning of *ajaya*.
>
>
> We know that *aja* cannot be derived from the root *ji* in accordance
> with the rules of Sanskrit grammar. No evidence has so far surfaced that
> *aja* ever had the *ajaya* meaning in a Prakrit or vernacular, presumably
> of northeast India. The evidence of the early translators is inconsistent,
> some taking *aja* in the meaning of *ajaya*, and some not. Somanātha,
> working with the Tibetan translator 'Bro, apparently did (we have only
> the later revision of his translation by Shong ston), while Tsa mi did not.
> Yet both are reported to have been co-disciples of the same Kālacakra
> teacher, and they lived only a few generations after the texts appeared in
> India. So who do we trust? It seems to me that we need more evidence to
> decide this question.
>
>
> Best regards,
>
>
> David Reigle
>
> Colorado, U.S.A.
>
>
> On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 9:07 PM, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> Forgot to send it to Indology list.
>>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at umich.edu>
>> Date: Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 1:52 PM
>> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] aja as ajaya?
>> To: David and Nancy Reigle <dnreigle at gmail.com>
>>
>>
>> Hello David,
>>
>>      I don't know any Tibetan, but the Sanskrit lines "samudravijayo 'jaḥ
>> | kalkī dvādaśamaḥ sūryo" that you have quoted make me think that the
>> first part of your quotation is metrically deficient.  It has only seven
>> syllables, in stead of the required eight syllables for a quarter of an
>> Anuṣṭubh verse.  To make this line metrically regular with eight syllables,
>> the probable correction would read: samudravijayo 'jayaḥ", giving you the
>> reading "ajaya".  This original was probably corrupted to "samudravijayo
>> 'jaḥ".  Just a suggestion.
>>
>> Madhav Deshpande
>>
>> On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 1:31 PM, David and Nancy Reigle <
>> dnreigle at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Dear Jonathan,
>>>
>>> Thank you for the good suggestion that perhaps *chu skyes*,
>>> “water-born,” is based on **abja*. I would regard this as certain, that
>>> the Tibetan translator was thinking of *abja*. Whether *abja* rather
>>> than *aja* was found in Bhadrabodhi’s Sanskrit manuscript, however, is
>>> another question. In this pioneering translation, the Tibetan translator
>>> Gyi jo first made a draft translation, and then this was divided among his
>>> students, the junior translators, to complete (see Cyrus Stearns, *The
>>> Buddha from Dölpo*, 2010 ed., p. 327 note 98). Since this possibly
>>> tentative translation, *chu skyes*, is the only evidence we have for
>>> *abja*, against much other evidence, I must doubt whether *abja* was
>>> actually in the Sanskrit manuscript. It seems more likely that the Tibetan
>>> translator simply confused the two words, and mistook the meaning of
>>> *abja* for the meaning of *aja*.
>>>
>>>
>>> Regarding *nyi ma'i*, “of the sun,” what caused me to call this
>>> “incomprehensible” is the fact that this genitive occurs at the end of the
>>> Tibetan pāda, and with nothing for it to go with: rgya mtsho rnam rgyal nyi
>>> ma'i | snyigs can nyi ma bcu gnyis pa'o |, corresponding to: samudravijayo
>>> 'jaḥ | kalkī dvādaśamaḥ sūryo |. The Tibetan pāda is short one
>>> syllable, which is obviously needed after *nyi ma'i*, but was
>>> apparently omitted by scribal error. So the Tibetan translator did take
>>> this name as something pertaining to the sun, whether he read it as
>>> *jaya* or as *aja*. As for what the word missing in this Tibetan
>>> translation might be, “[something] of the sun”: V. S. Apte’s Sanskrit
>>> dictionary gives as meaning #9 “A vehicle of the sun,” and Monier-Williams
>>> gives “beam of the sun (Pūshan),” but neither with a source reference.
>>>
>>>
>>> (Thank you for your kind words.)
>>>
>>>
>>> Best regards,
>>>
>>>
>>> David Reigle
>>>
>>> Colorado, U.S.A.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 12:59 AM, Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Just a random idea:
>>>> perhaps chu skyes is based on *abja.
>>>> Also, at least in some lists (but I admit this is a very problematic
>>>> "possibility") jaya is a name for the sun...
>>>> Thanks for your interesting questions!
>>>>
>>>> (May I just add here that since my student days I've appreciated the
>>>> materials you've made available from a place I had never before heard of,
>>>> Talent Oregon? Until it got water damaged by a warehouse that was anything
>>>> but 'state of the art' [despite their claim...] I had a lovely reprint, in
>>>> library binding, of an old publication on the Madhyāntavibhāga and several
>>>> other things from you, for which I take the opportunity to publicly thank
>>>> you :)
>>>>
>>>> Jonathan
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 4:33 AM, David and Nancy Reigle <
>>>> dnreigle at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Getting the names of the kings of Śambhala correct is very important
>>>>> for the Jonang order of Tibetan Buddhism, which has specialized in the
>>>>> Kālacakra/Śambhala teachings. So the Jonangpa lama Khentrul Rinpoche asked
>>>>> me if I could check with other Sanskritists to confirm that the name
>>>>> *aja* cannot mean “inconquerable” or “unconquered” in accordance with
>>>>> the rules of Sanskrit grammar. Since the many learned Sanskritists on this
>>>>> list have not responded with a way to derive this meaning in the three days
>>>>> since the question was posted, I take this as confirmed. This is a
>>>>> difficult problem, because a thousand years ago two different Indian
>>>>> Sanskrit pandits, working with two different Tibetan translators,
>>>>> apparently did take *aja* in this meaning. Unlike with the name
>>>>> *harivikrama*, we cannot trace how the error with *aja* arose (if it
>>>>> is an error).
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The case of *harivikrama* is comparatively simple. This name occurs
>>>>> with another name in this anuṣṭubh pāda: śrīpalo harivikramaḥ. Sanskrit
>>>>> verses had to be translated into Tibetan verses with a fixed number of
>>>>> syllables, seven for a pāda in the śloka or anuṣṭubh meter. So the eight
>>>>> syllables of this anuṣṭubh pāda were translated into these seven Tibetan
>>>>> syllables: dpal skyong seng ge rnam par gnon. Because the number of Tibetan
>>>>> syllables was limited by the meter, the syllables giving necessary
>>>>> grammatical information were omitted, leaving no way to know where the
>>>>> names divide. At some point, annotations were added, dividing this pāda
>>>>> into three names rather than two. So the Tibetan tradition got two kings,
>>>>> *hari* and *vikrama*, for one, *harivikrama*. All eight Sanskrit
>>>>> manuscripts that I used 31 years ago have *harivikramaḥ* (not *harir
>>>>> vikramaḥ*), as do the two that have become available to me since
>>>>> then. These ten include six old palm-leaf manuscripts, two of which had
>>>>> been used in Tibet, as seen by the Tibetan handwriting on their opening
>>>>> leaves.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The case of *aja* is more complex. Even though the pāda of the śloka
>>>>> that *ajaḥ* occurs in lacks a syllable, samudravijayo 'jaḥ, all ten
>>>>> Sanskrit manuscripts have *ajaḥ*, not *ajayaḥ*. This name occurs
>>>>> again in prose in the *Vimalaprabhā* commentary on 1.27, three times,
>>>>> so the form *aja* is there confirmed. Yet the canonical Tibetan
>>>>> translation by the Indian pandit Somanātha and the Tibetan translator
>>>>> 'Bro Shes rab grags, revised by Shong ston, has *rgyal dka'*.
>>>>> Similarly, the Tibetan translation by the Indian pandit Samantaśrī and the
>>>>> Tibetan translator Rwa Chos rab has *ma pham pa*, as reported by Bu
>>>>> ston in his annotated edition of the *Vimalaprabhā*. Both mean
>>>>> “unconquerable” or “unconquered.” Here we do not have an error that is
>>>>> traceable to the transmission process, as we do with *harivikrama*,
>>>>> but rather a discrepancy in the translation itself.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> In the last few years two other old Tibetan translations of the
>>>>> *Vimalaprabhā* that had recently been recovered were published, and
>>>>> part of a third. The translation by Tsa mi Sangs rgyas grags, said to be
>>>>> the only Tibetan ever to become abbot of Nālandā university in India, has
>>>>> transliterated the name into Tibetan characters (*a dza*) rather than
>>>>> translated it. The first ever Tibetan translation, by the Indian pandit
>>>>> Bhadrabodhi and the Tibetan translator Gyi jo Zla ba'i 'od zer and
>>>>> his students, has the incomprehensible *nyi ma'i*, “of the sun,” at
>>>>> the end of the pāda in the list of kings (probably a scribal error in the
>>>>> one manuscript we have), and *chu skyes*, “water-born,” in the three
>>>>> occurrences in the commentary on 1.27. A third translation, of which we
>>>>> have only the first chapter (so we do not know who made it), has *rgyal
>>>>> ba*, “conqueror,” in the list of kings (probably a scribal error for *rgyal
>>>>> dka'* in the one manuscript we have), and *rgyal dka'*,
>>>>> “unconquerable,” in the three occurrences at 1.27.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The question now is whether the name *aja* could stand for *ajaya* in
>>>>> some Prakrit or even vernacular language, probably from northeastern India.
>>>>> If we reject Gyi jo’s *chu skyes*, “water-born,” as an erroneous
>>>>> translation, a simple mistake, we are left with figuring out how three
>>>>> translators took *aja* as “unconquerable” or “unconquered.” Is this,
>>>>> too, just an erroneous translation? Significantly, Tsa mi did not translate
>>>>> the name but only transliterated it. This indicates that he did not take it
>>>>> as “unconquerable” or “unconquered,” but neither did he take it as
>>>>> “unborn,” as we might have expected. My apologies for the long post, but
>>>>> this is important to me and to Khentrul Rinpoche, and I wanted to provide
>>>>> enough background information to possibly lead to a solution to this
>>>>> problem.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Best regards,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> David Reigle
>>>>>
>>>>> Colorado, U.S.A.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 9:51 PM, David and Nancy Reigle <
>>>>> dnreigle at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> A question to all,
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The name *aja* occurs in a listing of the kings of Śambhala quoted
>>>>>> in the *Vimalaprabhā* commentary on the *Kālacakra-tantra*. As the
>>>>>> name of a bodhisattva king I have not taken *aja* in its meaning
>>>>>> “goat,” but rather in its meaning “unborn.” However, two different pairs of
>>>>>> early translators have translated it into Tibetan as “unconquerable” or
>>>>>> “unconquered” (*rgyal dka’*, *ma pham pa*), as if the word was
>>>>>> *ajaya* (or *ajita*) rather than *aja*. This, of course, is a more
>>>>>> appropriate meaning for the name of a king; but the form *aja* is
>>>>>> unanimously confirmed in multiple witnesses and also in a different
>>>>>> location in the *Vimalaprabhā*. So the question is: Is there any way
>>>>>> to derive *aja* from the root *ji*, “to conquer,” rather than from
>>>>>> the root *jan*, “to be born,” in accordance with the rules of
>>>>>> Sanskrit grammar, whether the *Aṣṭādhyāyī* of Pāṇini, the
>>>>>> *Cāndra-vyākaraṇa*, the *Kātantra*, the *Sārasvata-vyākaraṇa*, or
>>>>>> any other Sanskrit grammar?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Details: The full listing can be found in “The Lost Kālacakra Mūla
>>>>>> Tantra on the Kings of Śambhala,” where *ajaḥ* occurs in the verse
>>>>>> that I have arbitrarily numbered 17 for convenience of reference:
>>>>>> https://www.academia.edu/6423778/The_Lost_Kalacakra_Mula_Tan
>>>>>> tra_on_the_Kings_of_Sambhala.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Best regards,
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> David Reigle
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Colorado, U.S.A.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> J. Silk
>>>> Leiden University
>>>> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
>>>> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
>>>> 2311 BZ Leiden
>>>> The Netherlands
>>>>
>>>> copies of my publications may be found at
>>>> http://www.buddhismandsocialjustice.com/silk_publications.html
>>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
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