aatape (vi)dhaarita.h

Jean Fezas jean.fezas at wanadoo.fr
Mon Jun 23 19:26:03 UTC 1997

De : Joel Tatelman <tatelman at total.net>
A : Members of the list <indology at liverpool.ac.uk>
Date : samedi 21 juin 1997 23:50
Objet : aatape (vi)dhaarita.h

Dear List Members,

I am revising my translation of the Puur.naavadaana (Divyaavadaana no. 2) for publication and would be most grateful for your comments on a problematic expression found in two contiguous sentences. These are found respectively, on p. 20.13-14 and p. 20.15-16 of Vaidya's edition of the Divyaavadaana (= Cowell-Neil edition, p. 33.12-14 and p. 33.16).

The two sentences run as follows:

1. tato va.niggrame.na sa.mjaataamar.se.na .sa.s.te.h kaar.saapa.naanaam arthaayaatape dhaarita.h .

2. kasyaarthe yu.smaabhi.h puu.rna aatape vidhaarita.h .

My original translations, about which I am now having doubts, are as follows:

1. Then the [members of the] merchants' guild became angry and imposed [on Purna] a fine of sixty silver coins.

2. For what reason did you impose a fine on Purna?

E. Burnouf (Introduction à l'histoire du buddhisme indien, 2nd ed., Paris, 1876, p. 220), who translated this story from two MSS. and from the Tibetan version in the Muulasarvaastivaada Vinaya, interprets these as meaning that the members of the guild forcibly exposed Purna to the heat of the  sun as a way of forcing him to pay the 60 kar.saapa.nas (this penalty for dealing independently of the guild has been mentioned earlier in the narrative).

F. Edgerton (BHSD, p. 91b, s.v. aatapa) translates as I do, but (1) thinks the passages may be corrupt and (2) admits not really understanding the meaning of the crucial expressions "aatape dhaarita.h" and "aatape vidhaarita.h": he conjectures: "kept on a hot spot?".

Regrettably, I do not read Tibetan. At the moment, I am tending to favour Burnouf. Part of the reason for this is that the sentence following no. 2 above - raajña.h pauru.seyair d.r.s.ta.h - suggests that the king's men came along and saw Purna staked out (or whatever) in the sun and then, as the text goes on to say, reported the matter to the king. However, it's not exactly ironclad evidence. Therefore,

Any comments or observations would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Joel Tatelman.

Dear Joel,
I suppose that the commentary of Haradatta (1100-1300 AD according to Kane) on Apastamba dharma-sUtra might help you to decide: the customary practice of putting someone in the sun (or the cold, or to deprive him of food) to oblige him to pay the money he owned to a creditor (RNa) or to the king (kara) was (at least) known in Haradatta's time.
Apastamba runs as follows :
na cAsya viSaye kSudhA rogeNa himAtapAbhyAM vAvasIded abhAvAd buddhi-pUrvaM vA kaz cid.
Bühler (SBE II p.162) translates : " And in his realm, no (brahmana) should suffer hunger, sickness, cold, or heat, be it through want or intentionally. "
Haradatta s commentary (See Apastamba s aphorisms edited by Dr. G. Bühler, 3d edition, Bombay 1932 p. 191) wants to explain the use of abhAvAt (by lack) and of buddhi-pUrvaM (intentionally).
The first is evident : the king must provide brahmins with food, etc. if they are in want
How this kind of suffering may be caused intentionally is more difficult to grasp, Haradatta explains it as follows:
yadA kaz cid RNaM karaM vA dApyo bhavati tadA nAsau himAtapayor upanivezitavyo bhojanAd vA niroddhavyaH
" When someone must be obliged to refund a debt or a tax, he must not be put in the cold or in the heat, nor prevented from eating "
If, at times Haradatta, like many commentators, is using far-fetched arguments, the commentary seems to be here quite convincing, in my eyes at least.
Hoping it helps

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