Fri Dec 4 17:20:12 UTC 1998

At 07:15 AM 12/1/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Dear List Members,
>Does anyone have a good translation for epic 'daivam'?
>'Fate' or 'destiny' seem to be terms which have very little relation to
>pre-classical kshatriya culture.
>I am aware of Shulman's article in the Heesterman Festschrift, but that is
>not conclusive.
>Devaat Aagatam does not really help us too much in explaining what is
>action for an epic kshatriya.
>                                Kevin McGrath.
>Sanskrit Dept.
>Harvard College.

In sanskrit literature and in the psyche of Hindus (and in the
other religions also) there is a belief that for any endevour to
bear fruit two things are neccessary. One is human effort and the
other is the bunch of all other factors and circumstances which are
not in individual's control. The first factor is called "paurusham"
or "purusha prayatnam". The second factor is called "daivam". For
an endevour to bear fruit the other factors and circumstaneces should
permit it. This is called "daiva anukUlyam". The reason for using the
word 'daivam' is the belief that it is god/gods that control these other
factors. Hence the expressions "god willing" "inshA allAh" in christianity
and islam. Another belief is that god will be favourably disposed to
your endevours if you have "good karma".

In the anuzAsana parva of mahAbhArata the sixth chapter (uncritical
edition of Gita Press) is devoted to this question. The first sloka
of this chapter starts with query which dharmarAja makes of bhISma

                pitAmaha! mahAprAjJa! sarvazAstravizArada!
                daivE puruSakArE ca kiMsvicchrESThataraM bhavEt.



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