tad yathA

Herman Tull hwtull at MSN.COM
Wed Sep 22 13:03:20 UTC 2004

Just a quick opinion: Though certainly common, the phrase appears to be merely a literary device ("Once upon a time..."); certainly it does not have the force of the Pali, "evam (iti) me sutam"

While texts like the pancatantra are in Sanskrit, their audience probably was not brahmins deeply versed in scripture (who would then make the connection to other scriptural texts...), but those who used Sanskrit for its literary value.  Indeed, texts of this class were almost certainly translated into Sanskrit from other Indic languages ("thus, it was heard...")

Herman Tull
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: McComas Taylor<mailto:McComas.Taylor at ANU.EDU.AU> 
  To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk<mailto:INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk> 
  Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 11:56 PM
  Subject: tad yathA

  Dear Friends

  May I ask for guidance again?

  After the invocation, PUrNabhadra's PaJcatantra opens with the phrase `tad
  yathAnuzrUyate'. `tad yathA' reminds me of the introduction to certain
  mantras. Can one argue that by beginning the text with these words, its
  creators are (consciously or unconsciously) using a scriptural formulation
  that lends the text a particular authority? Is this stretching the point?
  How common is `tad yathA' as an opening device in Sanskrit lit? Does it add
  authoritative gravitas to the discourse, or it is just a textual device?

  Yours in gratitude


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