JR Gardner jgardner at BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU
Wed Dec 3 03:02:38 UTC 1997

I hesitate to enlist help with a passaage so seemingly straightforward as
the following, but it is not easy to take issue with herr Geldner.  What
does anyone suggest for bodhi in RV  5.4.9 (from Van Nooten and Holland,

 asmaa'kam bodhi avitaa' tanuu'naam |

cf. Geldner (HOS 1951, III:  7) "sei der Beschutzer unserer Leiber"-- I'm
sure I am missing something obvious . . . but I have trouble fitting both
tanuunaam and bodhi in light of Geldner's reading.  Muir doesn't treat it,
nor does Elizarenkova or Maurer, sadly (as also with 2.9.2 below).

I also don't get Beschutzer (unless via the tree/der Baum, i.e. that the
Buddha sat beneath, but htis feels like a stretch) from Bothlingk
(1879, Vol IV, p. 234), Mylius (1975: 330), Suryakanta (1981: 492),
Mayrhoffer (1963, II: 449), or Grassman (1996: 907).

Similarly, cf. 2.9.2c-d (from Van Nooten & Holland 1994):

a'gne toka'sya nas ta'ne tanuu'naam |
a'prayuchan dii'diyad bodhi gopaa'H

With Geldner (HOS #33, 1951: 284):

"O Agni, sei du mit deinem Lichte der unablassige Schutzer zer Fortdauer
unseres Samens, unserer eingenen Personen!"

While I am willingly anxious to solve this question, even at the expense
of being wrong, it would seem that the role of Agni as garbha, et al in
plants and living things (RV 2.1.1; 14; 3.1.13; as generator or engenderer
3.2.10; 7.5.7; 3.6.2; 5; 6.8.3; 7.5.4 [cf. also Norman Brown, JAOS 51,
1931, 108-118, Sources and Nature of puruSa in the PuruSasuukta]), would
attest to the more standard renderings of awaken or--even--quicken.

While discussion is welcome, for the sake of the list, and its recent
meta-debates, at this point, I am asking about translation moreso than
etymologies of -budh.



John Robert Gardner      Obermann Center
School of Religion         for Advanced Studies
University of Iowa       University of Iowa
319-335-2164             319-335-4034
It is ludicrous to consider language as anything other
than that of which it is the transformation.

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