[INDOLOGY] query [regarding the correct version of a defectively cited verse]

Ashok Aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com
Sun May 17 19:57:23 UTC 2015

Dear Martin,

Thanks for the additional observations you bring to the consideration of the verse. 

I should have expressed myself differently. The verb asti or ‘exists’ is definitely implicit in clauses one and three. It is possible that its change to the dual form (a vacana-vipariṇāma) staḥ was presumed in the second clause, but how far is such a presumption justified? It would come across as probable only if we further presume that the author did not wish to deviate from the common (cliché-like) yāvaccandrārkau or yāvaccandra-divākarau way of thinking or did not care about the consistency that the implicit presence of a verb in the singular would have given to his composition (i.e., did not care about symmetry). The first form of the presumption seems unnecessary (leading to gaurava), and the second unlikely. 

Appealing to the (undoubtedly true but) very general observation that worse transcription/transmission errors are seen in the way texts come down to us will leave us with no control on emendations (and we need that control). A consideration of ‘whether emendation x is probable or emendation y’ is unavoidable if the goal is to restore texts to a justified or acceptable (if not *the* original) form. My experience so far indicates that in a written as well as oral handing down of a text a रौ -> र: error (even in its generalized form ‘au mark > visarga’) is not common. Hence, in my opinion, it should not be viewed as likely. 

(The following does not pertain to what you have written but to what may be implicit in the statements of other contributors to the discussion:)  

Almost all Sanskrit authors come across as not losing the awareness of the literal, grammar-derived meaning of a word even when that word acquires a strong technical, śāstra-specific sense. That is the only way words such a prakṛti could have come to mean one thing in Sāṃkhya, another thing in Artha-śāstra and a third thing in grammar (not an exhaustive list). Even mokṣa that plays a great role in making Indian dhārmic traditions distinctive from religions and is known to practically every educated person in India remains available for such meanings as ‘releasing a cow from its tether’ or ‘release from an obligation.’  Therefore, it should not surprise us that prabhākara, while strongly associated with the Sun, had not ceased to mean ‘maker of lustre/light.’ 

(When the same word is used as a personal name, as is common, it could involve a metaphorical transfer of meaning, ‘X is/should be a virtual Sun in life or a particular field of activity’ or a retracing to the literal, derivational meaning, as in English “illustrious”.)

I saw Adheesh’s mail just as I was about to post the above text. divi in the place of divo will not fit the metre. The sixth syllable needs to be heavy. 

Taking deva in the (well-established) sense of ‘king, master, lord’ should remove any discomfort that might be felt with the genitive (divaḥ —>) divo. 


> On May 17, 2015, at 1:08 AM, Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at PBHOME.SE> wrote:
> Dear Ashok,
> I can agree with (a), which is why I didn't make my suggestion immediately, but regarding (b) I'm afraid I see plenty of worse transcription/transmission errors (we have to make allowance for oral transmission as well) than रौ -> र: . As for (c), I see no difference between the implicit 'exists' in the third pāda and the implicit 'exist' in the second, should we accept my suggested alternative. Also, like Walter, I have seen several similar expressions in other places. But I certainly don't insist on it; it just strikes me as plausible.
> Best wishes,
> Martin
> Ashok Aklujkar wrote:
>> यावच्चन्द्रप्रभाकरौ should be avoided: (a) If an existing reading makes a contextually probable sense, it should not be changed. (b) A corruption of रौ to र: is not transcriptionally probable. (c) The other two syntactically similar clauses of the verse have an action or a state associated with a person or personified entity — Indra rules in svarga and Rāma’s story exists in the world. If an action (‘being a maker of prabhā, spreading light’) is not associated with Candra, which would be the case if prabhākara is taken in the sense of ’the Sun,’ the second quarter would be out of step with the other two. It is very unusual for a Skt composer not to have a sense of symmetry. 
>> a.a.
>>> On May 16, 2015, at 11:16 PM, Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at pbhome.se> <mailto:martin.gansten at pbhome.se> wrote:
>>> Yes, I considered that too but didn't want to emend too much; I'm glad to have my suspicions confirmed by Ashok. For completeness, then, let me add that while यावच्चन्द्रः प्रभाकरः is certainly possible both metrically and with regard to meaning, यावच्चन्द्रप्रभाकरौ strikes me as a very plausible alternative.

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