a sloka to be identified

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Mar 11 23:58:56 UTC 2004

Paolo Magnone wrote:

>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?).
Ouch, that was painful! I really must have had a bad Sanskrit syntax
day. Sincere apologies for this obvious blunder.

>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.
I won't go into further details, as Dominik is first of all looking for
a source of this verse, and not for a translation. Paolo's suggestion
doesn't convince me because it requires supplying a fair bit of unstated
information, and this seems unnecessary as more straightforward readings
are, I believe, possible, even without leaving the poor author with
"poor logic". One might also ask why the author should at this point
have to produce waterproof logic, for as far as I remember, the text in
question is an ironic treatise aiming to demolish the foundations of
medical science. It would therefore not be that surprising if one found
instances of sophistry in it, and this verse may be one of them (this
might even be relevant regarding possible sources, if this is indeed a
clear-cut quotation). But anyway, since it is rather pointless to
discuss this further without more context, I'll leave it at that and
humbly hope for a better syntax day tomorrow.

Best regards,

Birgit Kellner

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