[INDOLOGY] Female name Bhaayi?

Martin Gansten martingansten at gmail.com
Sun Apr 23 19:53:19 UTC 2017

Thank you, Ashok, for your comments.

> I see no problem with the manuscript reading
> śrīvatsa-saṃjñād dvija-puṅgavād yaṃ śrī-bhāyi-nāmnī suṣuve ca sādhvī |
> śrī-yādavena vyaracīha tena sudhā-nidhis tājika-yoga-pūrvaḥ ||

I'm glad to hear it ;nor do I. I am just curious about the name.

> (but I do see a problem with David Pingree, a scholar I respect very 
> much, if there are other instances of him emending texts as in the 
> present case).

I don't want to seem overly critical -- Pingree was a trailblazer, and 
every scholar working on the history of astrology owes him a debt of 
gratitude. But it must be conceded that he was somewhat prone to rash 
emendations and far-reaching interpretations. In recent years, Bill Mak 
has shown the problems with some of Pingree's work on the 
/Yavanajātaka/; and in another linguistic field (but still related to 
astrology), Stephan Heilen in his /Hadriani genitura/ (De Gruyter 2015) 
similarly has some reservations about Pingree's edition of Hephaestio's 
/Apotelesmatics/. I am not competent to judge Pingree's work on texts in 
any language but Sanskrit, but there I do quite often find reason to 
disagree with his readings and/or translations. It would be interesting 
to learn from an Arabist what the situation is with his work in that area.

> It was not unusual to write the non-Sanskrit words as one heard them 
> or as the metre required; approximation was acceptable. Therefore the 
> writing of (our expected) bāī as bhāyī or bhāyi need not be viewed as 
> presenting a serious problem. (again. cf. Paturi: “Shortening of the 
> end vowel is not a hurdle …”)

Yes, I take your point; but the situation here is the opposite: there is 
practically no variation across manuscripts (I have now located a third 
one) or metres. They all read /bhāyi/ or /bhāi/ -- I have not so far 
seen a single instance lacking the aspiration. That was what made me 
wonder in the first place.

> The “ca” in the second quarter of the verse initially bothered me, but 
> there could be justification for it in a preceding verse of the 
> section, if [if the verse under discussion is not the first verse of 
> the section].

That depends on how you define a section -- it is right towards the end 
of the last chapter, but the immediately preceding verse praises the 
work itself and says nothing of the author.


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