Etymologies of Zaakya (was: Oak and the Tribe of the Buddha)
a.passi at ALMA.UNIBO.IT
Tue Oct 4 10:15:10 UTC 2005
This is quite interesting. Iksvaku's statement that the princes were
"able" makes more sense if a pun was present in the earliest version,
though I'm not quite sure if it contained all three elements, the
'Saaka grove (apparently not mentioned in the Sarvastivada/Kanjur
version), the sakaahi bhaginiihi expression found in the Pali Canon
(impossible in the Skt version), and Iksvaku's utterance on the
princes being 'saakya, i.e. "capable", which of course the Pali
transposes as sakya. The Pali gerundive of the equivalent of Skt.
'sak- is based on a stem sakk- (see sakka & sakku.neyya), so there
too the point of Iksvaku's pun would be lost. There is material to
suggest an earlier MIA level of the story, in which the three (two?)
words were based on similar stems.
Furthermore: could it be that that the MSV Sanskrit version
introduced the distinction between half sisters and full sisters to
give sense to Iksvaku's utterance that the princes were
"able" (because they survived in the forest, and, avoiding full
incest, found a way to insure the continuation of their lineage),
once the pun on the 'saaka trees got "lost in translation"? I am
aware that this is highly speculative.
Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Orientali
University of Bologna.
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