Explanation for 'SaDja'

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 27 01:39:39 UTC 1997

Devesh Soneji wrote:
>In a message dated 97-09-26 18:16:56 EDT, rsoneji at MB.SYMPATICO.CA
<< The comments on sadja are as follows (translation from
Sangitaratnakara of Sarngadeva, ed. and trans. R.K. Shringy and Prem
Lata Sharma):
 a) it is the precursor (lit. the progenitor) of the six other notes
 b) it is brought into being by six other notes, for, as an integrated
 part of the heptad (saptaka) it is manifested by the rest of the parts
 c) alternatively, it is produced by six organs of the body, viz. the
nostrils, the throat, the palate, the breast, the tongue and the teeth.
(commentary on Sangitaratnakara, Svaragatadhyaya (1), Prakarana 3, sloka
23) >>

S.Palaniappan says:

>Thanks for this important reference. But we are still left with the
problemwe started with. To me it seems the commentators had no logical
basis forexplaining the word. I simply do not trust the explanations
from this type ofcommentators. What we really need is a
linguistic/grammatical explanationfrom Sanskrit linguists/grammarians.
>What are the rules that underlie the creation of words such as
padmaja,girija, dvija, etc.? If these rules are applied to SaDja, what
will be the logical meaning?
>For instance, in the words, padmaja, dvija, etc. the result of birth is
thenamed subject. Explanation (a) seems to imply that the results of the
birthare some things other than the named subject. Does Sanskrit form
words like this? Or is this a case of folk etymology?

It is true that the most popular meaning of the ending "-ja:/jA" is
:birth/to be born from....but the ending can take on other meanings
including exotic ones like swift,victory etc. One of the lesser used
meanings of this ending is :prepared from,made of....In this context, if
we translate "ShaDja" as prepared from (six) organs, it would make
logical sense i.e. note produced with the help of six organs which are
listed by Prem Lata Sharma in part (c)....This is also said by Tyagaraja
in his "Sobhillu saptasvara"( rAgA jaganmOhini) where he says in the
anupallavi: "nAbhi hrd-kaNTHa rasana, nAsAdula entO"..."sobhillu sapta
( the first 5 words are Skt based are need no translation, nAsAdula is
just the Teluguised version of "of the nAsAdi", entO is "a lot of")
Sobhillu is I think, derived from Skt "ZObhA" sapta svara is from Skt

>Explanation (b) is even more confusing. When is the earliest evidence
for theconcept of 'saptaka' in Sanskrit? And what is the meaning of
>SaDja being brought into existence by the other six notes?

AFAIK, the word Saptaka is just a word for seven notes i.e. an octave
/karnatic sthAyi...the meaning, I think that is being implied here( this
is a long shot and could be the result of the same phenomenon
, not the causative factor-It is possible for any note to take the place
of the ShaDjam and allow for the generation of a new rAga i.e.
isn't this the basis of graha bhEdam?; for example, if the Rishbham in
the rAga mOhanam is made the ShaDjamam, then we get the rAga
madhyamAvati....It is therefore possible that the authors had this in
mind i.e. the ShaDja being generated from all the six notes one at a
>Explanation (c) also does not make sense. For instance, if SaDja is
producedfrom the above-mentioned six places, in how many places are >the
other notes produced (less or more than six places)?

Since each of the notes is derived from the note/call of a particular
animal/bird, may be the original person meant that the animal in
question uses a subset of these organs to produce its sound? Could be
also a case of very fuzzy translation....Does anybody have any other
commentary on the sangIta ratnakara?


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