[INDOLOGY] CORRECTION: Vālmīki’s first śloka

Harry Spier hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com
Sun Nov 20 18:07:22 UTC 2016

David Reigle wrote:

> Vālmīki’s first śloka, however, is being quoted in this kāṇḍa, to explain
> how the śloka meter arose. It is not part of this kāṇḍa's narrative as
> such. So its language is not necessarily the language of the rest of this kāṇḍa,
> and its age would be independent of the age of this kāṇḍa.

Looking at the distribution and locations of "vai" and "ha" in Ramayana
book 1.

Chapter 1 has the most occurances of "ha" in the Late Epic expected
location at paada end,  6 times.  with no occurances in Vedic expected
position (of second word in sentence or anywhere else). vai does not occur
in chapter 1.

Chapter 2 which describes the creation of shloka metre incident is more
ambiguous.  "ha" occurs in verse 8 at Vedic expected position (second word
in sentence) and "vai" occurs once in non-vedic expected position but not
at paada end in verse 19.  And "ha" occurs once in Late Epic expected
position at paada end in verse 20.

But what surprises me is that the occurance of "ha" is so irregular since
its use in the Ramayana (with only one exception) is as a metrical filler
at paada end. Chapter 1 having 6 occurances of "ha" at paada end but with
many chapters not having "ha" at all.

"ha" does not occur in chapters 3 thru 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21,
23 thru 33, 36, 37, 39 thru 42, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59,
63, 64, 67, 69, 71, 72, 74 and 76

Harry Spier


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