[INDOLOGY] Ardhamagadhi pavitthara, Sanskrit pravistara 'property'?

DIEGO LOUKOTA SANCLEMENTE diegoloukota at ucla.edu
Sat Mar 24 16:19:38 EDT 2018


    Dear list members,

    Is anyone familiar with the term *pavitthara* in Ardhamāgadhī or with
its presumed Sanskrit etymon *pravistara* in the sense of 'property'? I am
interested in understanding a recurring description of wealth in the
*Uvāsagadasāo* that one encounters for the first time in 1.4 (1.17, etc.)
in connection to one wealthy Āṇanda. The passage goes as follows in
Hoernle's 1890 edition (p.3, lines 4-7):


*tassa ṇaṃ āṇandassa gāhāvaïssa cattāri hiraṇakoḍio nihāṇapaüttāo, cattāri
hiraṇakoḍio vaḍḍhipaüttāo, cattāri hiraṇakoḍio pavittharapaüttāo [...]
hotthā*
[roughly: *atha tasya ānandasya gṛhapateś catasro hiraṇyakoṭyo
nidhānaprayuktāś catasro hiraṇyakoṭyo vṛddhiprayuktāś catasro hiraṇyakoṭyaḥ
pravistaraprayuktāḥ [...] abhavan*]

"The householder (banker/capitalist/businessman) Ānanda had four crores of
gold put in deposit, four crores of gold put on interest, and four crores
of gold put into *pavittha*"

     In his translation, Hoernle renders *pavittha* as 'well-stocked
estate' and invokes the following gloss from the Sanskrit commentary:
'property consisting of treasure, grain, two-footed animals (incl.
servants), four-footed animals, etc' (p.8, n.12). Ratnacandra Muni's
"Illustrated Ardhamāgadhī Dictionary" gives 'property,' but none of the
occurrences that he mentions clarifies much its meaning as far as I have
been able to tell.
    The triad might well read as "cash+debts+property,"  but I would like
to know how likely is 'property' as a meaning for this word instead of the
well attested 'extent, circumference.' I wonder if the lexeme *vi-√stṛ*
might have some technical meaning that eludes me and if *pavitthara *is
soemwhat related to the compound *vistīrṇaviśālaparigraha* 'with extended
and wide property' that occurs in similarly stereotyped descriptions of
wealth in the *Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya* and derived narrative collections,
and that might refer to land. Land (*khetta*), however, is separately
treated in the list of Āṇanda's assets in a later passage (1.19). Any help
would be greatly appreciated!

    *namaskaromi*,

    Diego
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