[INDOLOGY] Texts and bodily metaphors

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be
Wed Aug 12 08:25:05 UTC 2015

Thank you for this reference (with Geredão rendering grantha).

So (I have not here the book at hand), nothing on the Vedas in J. Fenicio's work (1609? He arrived in India in 1584) ? (cf. The Livro da Seita dos Indios Orientais (Brit. Mus. MS. Sloane 1820) of Father Jacobo Fenicio , s.j., edited with and introduction and notes by Jarl Charpentier, Uppsala : Almqvist & Wiksells, 1933, Arbeten utgivna med undestöd av Vilhelm Ekmans Universitetsfond 40). 

Note that the (Bhagavad-)Gîtâ (with the Avadhûta-Gîtâ) is already presented and discussed as the most sacred book of the brahmins in a Jesuit letter of 1560. 
See https://books.google.be/books?id=qP87AAAAcAAJ
pp. 376 sq. ("Guitaa & Detatriaa") (cf. Charpentier p. xliv)

Best wishes,

Christophe Vielle

Le 11 août 2015 à 02:03, Will Sweetman <will.sweetman at GMAIL.COM> a écrit :

> Dear all
> I'm working on some early European accounts of the Vedas including what I think is the very first reference to the Vedas in a European text. This was published in Couto's Da Asia, but is in fact taken from another work written by an Augustinian friar Agostinho de Azevedo in 1603. Azevedo (in my translation) says that the Brahmins:
> "have many books in their Latin, which they call Geredão which contain everything they are to believe, and all the ceremonies they are to perform. These books are divided into bodies [corpos], limbs [membros] and joints [articulos], whose originals are those they call Veados, which are divided into four parts, and these further into fifty-two parts in the following manner: six which they call Xastra, which are the bodies, eighteen which they call Purana, which are the limbs, twenty-eight called Agamon which are the joints."
> This formulation, with variations, is repeated in many subsequent European sources. The terms for the divisions (corpos,membros, articulos), which are not so often repeated, have usually been translated more literally as bodies, members and articles (or articulations). 
> I'm curious as to whether anyone is aware of an Indian source which uses these metaphors. I'm aware, of course of the Vedāṇgas, but I think the six here are clearly meant to be the śāstras/darśanas. This may indicate some muddling—or sheer invention—on Azevedo's part, but in other instances I've found it best to look first for an Indian source or idea an early European writer may be following rather than immediately assuming error or invention, so I'd welcome any leads and/or comments on translating membros as limbs and articulos as joints. "Articles" for the latter seems to me to be a particularly unilluminating translation.
> Best
> Will
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Christophe Vielle

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