[INDOLOGY] Vidumāla?

Martin Gansten martingansten at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 15:50:36 UTC 2020

In an astrological text tentatively dated to 13th-century Gujarat I came 
across this verse:

āye sute bhuvi śubho hy adhikāravān sa
madhyāni tāni tu laghūny adhikārahīnaḥ |
dagdho ’śubhekṣitayuto vidumālagāmī
nīco dadāti laghuvarṣapade ca māsān ||10||

'[Placed] in the eleventh, fifth, or fourth house, benefic and 
possessing dignity, that [planet] gives its middling [years]; bereft of 
dignity, its lesser ones; combust, aspected by or joined to malefics, 
moving /vidumāla/, [or] fallen, months in the place of its lesser years.'

 From the context, it seems likely that /vidumāla/ should mean 
'retrograde', and indeed, some later text witnesses 'correct' the phrase 
to /kila vakragāmī/; but I am fairly sure that the lectio difficilior is 
correct here. However, I have been unable to find /vidumāla/ (or 
/dumāla/,  supposing the /vi- /to be a prefix) in any lexicon, and it 
does not seem to be an Arabic term. This makes me wonder if it could be 
a borrowing from a North Indian vernacular. All suggestions would be 
gratefully received.

Best wishes,
Martin Gansten

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