2 956 900 vessels/k.sutila/ku.duba

Harunaga Isaacson harunaga at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Thu Feb 20 07:51:42 UTC 2003

Quoting Christophe Vielle <vielle at ORI.UCL.AC.BE>:

> - the JaiSa says that when the embryo is going out of the uterus, he has
> "the form of a k.sutila"
> ni.hsaare k.sutilaakaaro vaasanocchvaasamaatraka.h /
> what is this k.sutila (given by all the manuscripts)??

With the proviso that I have hardly read literature of this type (I'd like to
see a little more of the text), I'm willing anyway to suggest, since I have
seen no responses yet from knowledgeable people, that you may not be dividing
the words correctly. k.sutila would indeed be a strange word (for which
you, I suppose from your query, found no parallel); and the locative ni.hsaare
that your word-division seems to yield is also strange to me (though, again,
I'd want to see more of the context; this is clearly not the complete
sentence). But the first paada can be read as one compound of perfectly common
Sanskrit words: ni.hsaara+ik.su+tila+aakaaras. And this is interpretable (tila
presumably being used not in the sense of 'sesame-seed' but of 'a small
particle (roughly the size of a sesame-seed)'), and seems much more likely to
be correct than the word-division you have assumed (if you have considered this
possibility and rejected it in favour of the other I wonder why).

> - the JaiSa in its measurement of each substance of the body (a passage
> quite original in comparison with other sources) uses the term ku.duba :
> instead of the more classical ku.dava? (a dialectal/dravidian variant?)

ku.duba is recorded as a variant orthography for ku.dava in Apte's dictionary.
Apte gives no references to texts, but ku.duba (as a kind of measure) occurs I
believe in the Artha"saastra (I do not have Kangle's edition with me as I
write, so am forced to rely on the e-text input and generously made publicly
available by Prof. Tokunaga). Of course one should bear in mind that b and v
are homograph in many Indian (manu)scripts, though by no means all, and
that 'doublets' with them are often found; keep your eye out for ku.duva too,
therefore; and since ku.dapa seems to be attested as yet another orthography
(at least in Monier-Williams), ku.dupa, which seems to be recorded in MW and
Apte only in another sense, might conceivaby also occur as a spelling of your
word. I shall not speculate on dialectical/Dravidian influences/sources (I have
not so much as Mayrhofer's etymological dictionary at hand, let alone anything
on dravidian).

Harunaga Isaacson

Harunaga Isaacson
South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
820 Williams Hall
36th and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
tel. +1 215 898 6047

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