AW: bhAgavatapurANa - translation question - what does zUla mean?

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Mon Jun 25 17:48:55 UTC 2007

You mean you may accept the principle of lectio difficilor, but not of interpretatio difficilior?   :^)

Anyhow, I think the second half of the compounds here may be from not from ZUlaH, "pike, spit, javelin"  (assumed by van Buitenen) and later "stake,  stake of exectuion" and "pain, colic,"  but from ZUlA, "harlot." Mayrhofr gives IE possible cognates for the former, with little conviction, and "wohl dravidisch" for the latter, with citations.  Both are also found in Pkt., he says.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D., Senior Reference Librarian
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

>>> Stella Sandahl <ssandahl at SYMPATICO.CA> 06/25/07 12:22 PM >>>

Dear colleagues,
It is most distressing to see that van Buitenen so flagrantly  
violates [my] translation rule number 1, which is 'if it sounds  
absurd, it is wrong'. Tagare's translation seems more accurate,  
although aTTa could be rendered as markets rather than food. So the  
meaning will then be that in Kali yuga there is rampant capitalism,  
peddling of Vedas at the crossroads, and the women are harlots. At  
least that makes sense.
Clearly, a semantic study of the the word zUla is in order.
Stella Sandahl
Professor Stella Sandahl
Department of East Asian Studies
130 St. George St. room 14087
Toronto, ON M5S 3H1
stella.sandahl at
Tel. (416) 978-4295
Fax. (416) 978-5711

On 25-Jun-07, at 9:57 AM, Dr. Chlodwig H. Werba wrote:

> Dear Colleague,
> The stanza, of which Dr. McComas Taylor gives his transcription, is  
> the 36th
> of the first Adhyaaya, called Bhaktinaaradasamaagama, of the
> Bhaagavatamaahaatmya, i.e. BhaaM I 36. The oldest variant of this  
> floating
> stanza (further parallels in EDS II/865a) seems to be Mahaabhaarata  
> (MBh)
> III 186,36:
>         a.t.ta;suulaa janapadaa.h, ;siva;suulaa;s catu.spathaa.h /
>         ke;sa;sulaa.h striyo raajan, bhavi.syanti yugak.saye //,
> of which van Buitenen (p. 587) gives the following translation  
> (being worth
> its name): "At the end of the Eon the countryside will bristle with  
> towers,
> the crossroads with jackals, the women with hair, O king".
> Best wishes
> ;Srutavega.
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] Im Auftrag von Horacio
> Francisco Arganis Juarez
> Gesendet: Montag, 25. Juni 2007 14:39
> Betreff: Re: bhAgavatapurANa - translation question - what does  
> zUla mean?
> Dear Professor:
> Can you said me from what book or canto is this quote?
> Thanks very much.
> Horacio Francisco Arganis-Juarez
>> -----Mensaje Original-----
>> Desde: McComas Taylor [mailto:mccomas.taylor at ANU.EDU.AU]
>> Enviado: Lunes 25 de Junio de 2007 02:49 AM
>> Para: INDOLOGY at
>> Tema: bhAgavatapurANa - translation question - what does zUla mean?
>> Dear colleagues
>> The description of the Kali yuga in BhP (0.1.36, paNDita-pustakAlaya
>> ed.) states that:
>> aTTazUlA janapadAH zivazUlA dvijAtayaH . kAminyaH kezazUlinyaH
>> sambhavanti kalAviha
>> Tagare's translation says 'In this Kali age, the country will be  
>> full of
>> people who sell food, BrAhmaNas, selling the Vedas and women  
>> living by
>> prostitution' (lxxv).
>> Can anyone help me get 'selling food' out of aTTazUla, 'selling  
>> Vedas'
>> out of zivazUla and 'prostitution/selling hair' out of kezazUla?
>> thanks in advance
>> McComas
>> -- 
>> ===============================
>> Dr McComas Taylor
>> Head, South Asia Centre
>> Faculty of Asian Studies
>> The Australian National University
>> ACTON ACT 0200
>> Tel: +61 2 6125 3179
>> Fax: +61 2 6125 8326
>> Email: mccomas.taylor at
>> URL:
>> Location: Room E4.26 Baldessin Precinct Building
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