Re: [INDOLOGY] Hypermetrical upajāti

Seishi Karashima skarashima at
Sat Jul 8 13:14:16 UTC 2017

Dear Dr. Mak,

If this was the case for this rather difficult chapter of the
> *Vṛddhayavanajātaka*, this may then be interpreted as a vestige of an
> older version which somehow resisted standardization.
​I assume so, though I am ignorant about the history of
the Vṛddhayavanajātaka.

> Is there any explanation for why this mixture came into being in the first
> place, especially in Buddhist texts and epics? If one considers the two
> meters as catalectic/acatalectic version of each other, and if one meter is
> predominant (upajāti in this chapter 66.3%, in the entire work probably
> 99.9%), wouldn’t the other be considered hypermetrical?

​I think that this mixture is preserved in some older strata of Buddhist
scriptures and epics by chance, while, in other later texts, either verses
 were composed in pure
​-metre or in pure
​ metre from the beginning, as in the cases of ​
the Avadānaśataka,
​ ​
​, ​
​ etc., or the mixed verses were standardized by later redactors, as in the
case of the Gilgit-Nepalese recension of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka. To my
opinion, in early times, this mixture was
probably considered as stylistically elaborate
​ --- therefore not hyper-metrical​
, but later it
​ came to be regarded as odd. By comparing Sanskrit fragments from Central
Asia, which generally preserve older readings, and their parallel (newer)
Nepalese manuscripts of Buddhist scriptures, one can trace this shift.

With best wishes,
Seishi Karashima

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