"Saisha" as the name of a goddess?

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Mar 8 14:47:35 UTC 2010

What about zacii-pati (śacī-pati)  "lord of strength" (= Indra), a  
dozen times  in the RV,

but then understood as "husband of Śacī", whence Indra's wife got  
her name Śacī.

Which will remind some of us of the unforgettable lecture of Alex  
Wayman at  the AOS, some 10 years ago...
Homeric names!


On Mar 8, 2010, at 9:39 AM, Deshpande, Madhav wrote:

> Dear Indologists,
> Recently I met a Brahmin family from Karnataka who have a newborn  
> daughter named "Saisha".  They asked me what the word means.  I  
> could not think of a Sanskrit word close to "Saisha."  Then the  
> grandfather said that this is a name of goddess Lakshmi used in a  
> Sanskrit stotra popular among followers of Ramanuja.  The line from  
> the stotra he recited was:  saiṣā devī sakala-bhuvana- 
> prārthanā-kāmadhenuḥ.  It was immediately apparent to me that  
> the "Saisha" was simply sā eṣā, and not a name of the goddess,  
> but I was not able to convince the grandfather of the child, who  
> fervently argued that "Saisha" was an authentic name of the  
> goddess.  I wonder if others have come across similar examples.
> Madhav
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
> Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
> 202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
> The University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-1608, USA
> ________________________________________
> From: Indology [INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Alexander  
> von Rospatt [rospatt at BERKELEY.EDU]
> Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 3:42 PM
> To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
> Subject: Update: Berkeley Summer Program: Words of Wisdom: Toward a  
> Western Terminology for Buddhist Texts
> Dear Colleagues,
> there are still a few free places on the 2010 Berkeley Summer  
> Program: Words of Wisdom: Toward a Western Terminology for Buddhist  
> Texts.
> I would be grateful if you could remind potentially interested  
> students of this special opportunity. The announcement can now also  
> be found online at http://mangalamresearch.org/summer.htm.
> With many thanks (and apologies for cross-listing with H-Buddhism),
> Alexander von Rospatt
> ------------
> Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages
> Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California
> Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Stanford University
> Summer Program: Words of Wisdom: Toward a Western Terminology for  
> Buddhist Texts
> Berkeley, CA, USA. June 14-July 2, 2010
> Core Faculty: Luis Gomez, Michael Hahn
> Associate Faculty: Paul Harrison, Alexander von Rospatt, Carmen  
> Dragonetti, Fernando Tola
> Putting the Dharma into the words of a new culture is a task that  
> has traditionally unfolded over several generations. In the West,  
> where the languages of educated discourse are sophisticated and  
> rich with layers of meaning, the challenges of being able to convey  
> the Buddhist teachings as faithfully as possible are especially  
> daunting.
> This intensive three-week program, intended primarily for graduate  
> students in Buddhism, Indology, or allied fields, is a small step  
> toward a clear and consistent terminology or (more modestly)  
> developing skills and strategies for finding the best translation  
> equivalents in contemporary English.
> The text for the program is the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra. We will  
> read the Sanskrit together with the Tibetan and Chinese  
> translations. This close reading will address problems of  
> interpretation, as well as the technical and stylistic challenges  
> faced by the translator of classical Buddhist texts. Students  
> should have facility in Sanskrit; knowledge of Tibetan or Chinese  
> will be helpful.
> Format and Facilities Guided by distinguished faculty, students  
> will meet 5 hours a day, five days a week to work with the  
> challenges posed by the text. Sessions will be held from 9:30 am –  
> 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm. Meals are provided, and housing is  
> an easy walk. Students will have access to the libraries of the  
> Mangalam Research Center and the University of California at  
> Berkeley (a 10-minute walk). Rapid Transit to San Francisco is half- 
> a-block away.
> Focus The focus will be on key terms of the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa- 
> sūtra in the context of the profound Mahayana vision it sets forth.  
> We will examine vocabulary choices in  both source and target  
> languages, sensitive to subtle shifts in meaning between languages  
> with different philosophical underpinnings. Among the topics to be  
> explored and skills to be honed:
> •  Sanskrit roots, etymology, and the relation of Buddhist  
> Sanskrit to other forms of Sanskrit
> •  Issues of context and intertexuality.
> •  comparison with the Tibetan and Chinese, with reference to  
> commentaries.
> •  stylistic choices and terminology in existing translations in  
> both canonical and modern languages
> •  general issues in the theory and practice of translation as  
> they arise in rendering a classic Buddh ist text into a modern idiom.
> Costs: Tuition: $1,200 (includes lunch daily). Food and lodging:  
> $1,350. Total cost: $2,550.
> Applications The program is intended for advanced graduate  
> students, but applications from all qualified candidates will be  
> considered. Please submit an application by March 15, 2010 to  
> summerprograms at mangalamresearch.org. Include a short statement of  
> purpose, a description of language skills and how acquired, and a  
> 1–2 paragraph letter of endorsement from your principal adviser.  
> Students completing the program will receive a formal letter from  
> the Buddhist Studies program of the University of California,  
> Berkeley, certifying that the course corresponds to a semester long  
> graduate seminar of fifteen weeks with five hours of instruction  
> per week."
>  Maximum number of participants is 15. Applicants will be notified  
> by April 10, 2010.

Michael Witzel
witzel at fas.harvard.edu

Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street,
Cambridge MA 02138, USA

phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
my direct line:  617- 496 2990

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