[INDOLOGY] Kshut(a)

Martin Gansten martingansten at gmail.com
Sun Dec 17 20:14:07 UTC 2017

Thanks to those who replied already, on and off the list. I can see I 
should have been clearer: I was primarily interested in knowing whether 
क्षुत /kṣuta /really exists in the sense 'awkward' (or similar) in Hindi 
or other NIA languages. Thanks to Dick Plukker for answering this in the 
negative (still a result).

Several people have pointed out that sneezing is commonly seen as an 
omen. Even if it were always a bad omen, though, this sense wouldn't 
quite work here: in the Tājika texts where I have found the word, kṣut 
or kṣuta (both forms occur) is used as a technical term in the specific 
context of planetary aspects (kṣuddṛṣṭi, kṣutadṛṣṭi). A not infrequent 
Sanskrit synonym is krūradṛṣṭi. It did occur to me to wonder whether 
kṣut(a) might be of Persian derivation (it doesn't seem to be related to 
any Arabic term that I have found), but wondering is as far as I've got. 
Early sources gloss it in a way that might suggest that it would seem 
foreign to Indian readers (/tisro ’ridṛśaḥ kṣutākhyāḥ syuḥ/, etc).

Lubomír Ondračka helpfully suggested a look at the Vācaspatyam. The 
there deals mostly with sneezing as an omen but does go on to mention 
the Tājika meaning briefly:

> tājakoktāyām 2 aridṛṣṭau ariśabde 355 pṛ° vivṛtiḥ “kṣutākhyadṛṣṭyā na 
> śubhaṃ tadāpi” | “kṣutadṛṣṭyā ripor bhayam” nīlaka° |

(The reference is to the Tājikanīlakaṇṭhī.) This is the sense I'm after, 
but of course the Vācaspatyam doesn't discuss etymology. If the sense is 
restricted to Tājika texts, though, that increases the likelihood of a 
comparatively recent foreign origin.

Any further leads on this would be greatly appreciated!

Martin G.

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