a sloka to be identified

Paolo Magnone paolo.magnone at UNICATT.IT
Thu Mar 11 17:24:42 UTC 2004

Dear friends,

I should like to put forward a different interpretation that struck me on first reading the zloka, which might not be altogether unreasonable in itself (although, of course, I don't know about the context) especially as it appears to me to suit the syntax better. Here it is:

        Their statements carry weight, but mine don't: how can that be?
        [And yet it so happens:] therefore [sound reasoning is not enough but]
        one should [also] ensure refinement of speech, as everybody knows.

I think this deals satisfactorily, inter alia, with Birgit's misgivings about the 'strange' position of ca -- now correlative of na -- (and the "uktau" must surely be locatives?).

This also restores some plausible meaning to "tasmAt" as a conclusive conjuction. Otherwise, "tasmAt" does not really carry any conclusive force at all, because no proper inference is in sight. It rather amounts to saying: "Their statements carry weight: how can you say mine don't? Therefore, they do!" which is rather poor logic, I daresay.

Paolo Magnone

=============== ORIGINAL MESSAGE ===============

On 11/03/2004 at 17.10 Birgit Kellner wrote:

>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.
>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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