[INDOLOGY] Sent on behalf of Valerie Roebuck

James Hegarty hegartyjm at googlemail.com
Wed Apr 24 11:27:03 UTC 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I would appreciate it if you sent responses to the query below to vjroebuck at btinternet.com <mailto:vjroebuck at btinternet.com>.

Best Wishes,

James Hegarty 

Dear Colleagues 

Can anyone kindly provide a translation of two verses from the Tibetan Udānavarga (Ched dubrjod pa’i tshoms), Chapter 1 vv 13-14?

Part of v. 14 is missing from the Sanskrit Udānavarga, but it appears to exist in the Tibetan version. However, from Rockhill’s 1883 translation (the only one currently available to me) it looks as though the Tibetan departs quite drastically from the Sanskrit. It’s part of a sequence on the impermanence of human existence.

The Sanskrit, as edited by Bernhard: 

Uv_1.13ab: yathāpi tantre vitate yad yad utaṃ samupyate /
Uv_1.13cd: alpaṃ bhavati vātavyam evaṃ martyasya jīvitam //
Uv_1.14ab: yathāpi va - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - /
Uv_1.14cd: - - - ghatano bhavati evaṃ martyasya jīvitam //

My (tentative) translation: 

13.	Just as, when yarn is stretched out,
		Whatever was woven is sheared
	And soon must be sewn up,
		Such is the life of a mortal.

14.	Just as ... [section missing] 
		Such is the life of a mortal.

Rockhill has: 

13 (347) It is with the life of mortal man as with the spider, who, stretching hither and thither its web, is enclosed in it.

14. It is with the life of mortal man as with (the spider), who, though it would free itself from its trap, finds, whichever way it takes a step, the abode of death before it.

There is definitely no spider (usually ūrṇanābha) in the Sanskrit as we have it: verse 13 appears to be about a (human) weaver, not an (arachnid) spinner. So is Rockhill drastically over-translating, or has the spider somehow crept in between the Sanskrit and Tibetan versions of the Udānavarga?

Many thanks -

Dr Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20190424/71681bb3/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list