a sloka to be identified

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Mar 11 16:10:28 UTC 2004

Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

>Sheldon has improved my translation, for which many thanks:
>> te.saa.m uktau pramaa.na.m ca maduktau na katha.m bhavet /
>> tasmaat subhaa.sita.m graahyam iti sarvatra ni"scita.m //
>          Their statements carry weight; why shouldn't mine?
>          Therefore in every case it's clear that whatever is
>          well said (= well argued) should be accepted.
For what it's worth, I went through files on my harddisk, or rather, had
a search program speed through them. Nothing turned up in (in comparison
to Dominik's text) earlier NyAya texts like the NyAyabhUSaNa or the
NyAyamaJjarI, or the NyAyabhASya; I ran searches for "uktau" and
"subhASita" respectively, to be on the safe(r) side of potential typos
in the files.

As for the translation, I had thought along similar lines in terms of
construction, but in slightly different terms. The first half calls into
question, and implicitly rejects, that the weight (authority,
reliability) of a statement depends on the speaker. This is patently
unreasonable, for the quality of the statement counts, and not the
speaker. Such seems to be the reasoning. But then I would expect
"tasmAt" to be a part of the iti-clause, and "sarvatra ni'scitam" to
serve, as it were, as an emphatic rhetorical "door-slammer". In that
case, it seems more plausible to me that the author of the verse,
whoever it was, would emphasise that this principle is obvious, or
clear, or known, everywhere, and not necessarily that it is clear in
every case.

This would be my suggestion, of course very hypothetical as I don't know
the context (where, for instance, do the duals in the first half come
from? What's with the strange position of "ca"? Metri causa?):

"Their statements carry weight; why shouldn't mine? Therefore [i.e.
because it is unreasonable to accord weight to statements on the basis
of the speaker] what is well said should be accepted -  this is
ascertained/clear everywhere [so don't even think about arguing with me
any further]." (or: "as is ascertained/clear everywhere")

Best regards,

Birgit Kellner

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