[INDOLOGY] What are the ways to express pervasion (vIpsA) in Sanskrit?

Deepro Chakraborty chakrabortydeepro at gmail.com
Sun Dec 6 04:38:54 UTC 2020

As far as I know, pervasion can be expressed more or less three ways in

1. Iteration (*āmreḍana*): vṛkṣaṃ vṛkṣaṃ siñcati
2. Avyayībhāva compound: with the particles *prati, pari *and *anu *when
compounded as the first members, as in *pratyartham, pratyekam, pratidinam,
anudinam *etc.
3. The secondary suffix (taddhita) *śas: *This suffix is used with numerals
and words in the singular number. Such as ekaśaḥ (one by one), pañcaśaḥ
(five by five), varṇaśaḥ (to each Varṇa). The words with the suffix śas
behave like adverbs.

The Pāṇinian sūtra for karmapravacanīyas *prati, pari *and* anu*
pratiparyanavaḥ 1.4.90*) also says that these adnominals can be used in
these senses, one of which is vīpsā (pervasion):
1. Lakṣaṇa (characteristic mark in direction): *vṛkṣaṃ prati vidyotate
vidyut *(lightning flashes towards the tree).
In this sense, *prati* can make avyayībhāva compounds as well. *pratyagni
śalabhāḫ patanti* (the moths are falling towards fire) [*lakṣaṇenābhipratī
ābhimukhye 2.1.14*]

2. itthambhūtākhyāna there(description of one who is like that): sādhur
devadatto mātaraṃ prati (Devadatta is good to his mother)

3. bhāga (share): *yad māṃ prati syād* (which should be to me [my share])

4. *vīpsā (pervasion)*: *vṛkṣaṃ vṛkṣaṃ prati siñcati* (s/he waters every
tree). In this sense, there can be avyayībhāva compound: *pratidinam* =
every day

I looked into the commentaries and found that Jayāditya says these meanings
are expressed through the context *(viṣayabhūta) *and the function of these
adnominals (karmapravacanīya) is to establish a relation. This example, *vṛkṣaṃ
vṛkṣaṃ prati siñcati* was given by Jayāditya in the Kāśikā.
Jinendrabuddhi says that the pervasion (vīpsā) is already expressed by
iteration (*āmreḍana* or *dvirukti*), the adnominal (*karmapravacanīya*)
*prati *is to express the relationship between the action (watering) and
the trees. But then it goes against the fundamental definition of
adnominals (connected to nominals) and behaves like an upasarga (preverb)
[upasargāẖ kriyāyoge]. But then the commentators leave it as a special case
saying that although it is connected to the action we won't call it an
upasarga because upasargas would involve other kinds of changes. Had it
been the upasarga it would have been *vṛkṣaṃ vṛkṣaṃ pratiṣiñcati. *The
non-retroflexion of the sibilant here allows us to consider it a
karmapravacanīya and not an *upasarga*.

I think that Pāṇini made things a bit complicated here stating all these 4
meanings of the adnominal *prati, pari *and* anu. *All these we can
translate with the English preposition 'towards' or 'to'. But I think when
Pāṇini thought of a directional use, he thought of physical objects. In the
case of the example, *sādhur devadatto mātaram prati *(Devadatta is good to
his mother) we cannot perceive a physical direction. So, he postulated
these meanings and later commentators had trouble in explaining those. So,
I would translate *vṛkṣaṃ vṛkṣaṃ siñcati *as "s/he waters every tree"
and* vṛkṣaṃ
vṛkṣaṃ prati siñcati *as "s/he waters towards every tree" (if this makes
sense at all).

I am wondering if there are secondary materials available on these issues.
I checked Joshi and Roodbergen's and Rama Nath Sharma's translations of the
Aṣṭādhyāyī. There I did not find anything more than what Sanskrit
commentators said. But it would be great to find some new researches on
this issue.


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