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

Martin Gansten martin.gansten at pbhome.se
Sun May 17 20:47:24 UTC 2015

Dear Ashok,

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on what is likely. Nāsāv 
ṛṣir yasya mataṃ na bhinnam, :-) and there are many elements that may go 
into an emendation. To me, the verse in question does indeed seem rather 
cliché-like, making  the formulaic yāvac candraprabhākarau appear more 
likely than it does to you. But of course I may be wrong.


Ashok Aklujkar wrote:
> 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.
> a.a.

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