[INDOLOGY] sUcI-kaTAha-nyAya

Ashok Aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 00:29:34 UTC 2018

> On Apr 9, 2018, at 6:50 AM, Agathe Keller via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> I find this expression (sūcī-kaṭāha-nyāya) in an early 17th century mathematical commentary (Kṛṣṇa’s commentary on Bhāskara’s Bijagaṇita), and Monier Williams tells me that this is the ‘rule of the needle and the caldron’ by which easier things are done first. Can anyone tell me the story behind this expression, and also if you have met this phrase in other scholarly contexts?

Someone first places an order with a blacksmith for the production of a cauldron and then places an order for the production of a needle. The blacksmith, considering the second production to be less time-consuming attends to it first. The sequence in which the orders were received is set aside. (Similarly, a commentator/elucidator coming across a long or complex sentence first gets simpler expressions in or around it out of his way and thus clears the way to attack the difficult statement.)

See Mishra, Chhabinath. 1978. Nyāyokti-kośa: a Dictionary of Nyāyas (Sayings) in Sanskrit Śāstras. Dillī: Ajanta Publications. p. 97, which, in turn, refers to (Nyāya?)Sāhasrī 198. 


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