Re: [INDOLOGY] vekurañja

Dan Lusthaus prajnapti at
Sat Nov 21 19:11:47 UTC 2020

Dear Artur and Rolf,

This may or may not be helpful.

Taṃ kiṃ maññasi assalāyana,idha vaḷavaṃ gadrabhena sampayojeyyuṃ. Tesaṃ sampayogamanvāya kisoro jāyetha. Yo so vaḷavāya gadrabhena kisoro uppanno siyā, so mātupi sadiso pitupi sadiso, assoti vattabbo, gadrabhoti vattabbo'ti.
Vekurañjāya hi1 so bho gotama, assataro hoti. Idaṃ [PTS Page 154] hissa bho gotama, nānākaraṇaṃ passāmi. Amutra ca panesānaṃ2 na kiñci nānākaraṇaṃ3 passāmīti. 
Taṃ kiṃ maññasi assalāyana, idhassu dve māṇavakā bhātaro saudariyā, eko ajjhāyako upanīto, eko anajjhāyako anupanīto. Kamettha brāhmaṇā paṭhamaṃ bhojeyyuṃ saddhe vā thālipāke vā yaññe vā pāhune4 vāti?
1. Kuṇḍaṃhi-machasaṃ ,kumāraṇḍupihi-syā 
2. Amutra ca pana - sānaṃ,syā 
3. Nānākāraṇaṃ-sīmu. 
4. Pāhuṇe-sīmu.[PTS 5.] Apaṭibhāno-[PTS]

Three English Translations:

“What do you think about this, Assalāyana? Suppose a mare were mated with an ass and as a result a foal were born of this mating. Would that foal of the mare and the ass be like the mother and also like the father, and should it be called ‘horse’ and also ‘ass’?”
“Because of its crossed birth, good Gotama, it is a mule. This good Gotama, is a difference that I see for it, but elsewhere, for the others, I see no difference at all.”

(Tr. I.B. Horner)

14. “What do you think, Assal›yana? Suppose a mare were to be mated with a male donkey, and a foal were to be born as the result. Should the foal be called a horse after the mother or a donkey after the father?” 
“It is a mule, Master Gotama, since it does not belong to either kind. [154] I see the difference in this last case, but I see no difference in either of the former cases.” 

(Tr. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

“What do you think, Assalāyana? “
Taṃ kiṃ maññasi, assalāyana, 

Suppose a mare were to mate with a donkey, and she gave birth to a mule. 
idha vaḷavaṃ gadrabhena sampayojeyyuṃ, tesaṃ sampayogamanvāya kisoro jāyetha; 

Would that mule be called a horse after the mother or a donkey after the father?” 
yo so vaḷavāya gadrabhena kisoro uppanno, siyā so mātupi sadiso pitupi sadiso, ‘asso’tipi vattabbo ‘gadrabho’tipi vattabbo”ti?
“It’s a mule, as it is a crossbreed. 
“Kuṇḍañhi so, bho gotama, assataro hoti. 

I see the difference in this case, 
Idaṃ hissa, bho gotama, nānākaraṇaṃ passāmi; 

but not in the previous cases.” 
amutra ca panesānaṃ na kiñci nānākaraṇaṃ passāmī”ti.

(Tr. Bhikkhu Sujato)

Note that SuttaCentral, following the PTS footnote, replaces Vekurañjāya hi with kuṇḍañhi.
kuṇḍa+hi. PTS P-E-Dict.: “kuṇḍa = bent, crooked”

In the Madhyama-āgama preserved in Chinese, the corresponding passage seems to elide the troublesome term and reads:



The World-Honored One said: “Māṇavaka (transliterated 摩納; a brahmin youth)! What do you think? If someone has a herd of many 草馬 cao ma(1), and there is one “father” ass, and the cao ma and father ass mate, because of that mating, subsequently a colt is born, what do you say? Is it considered an ass or considered a horse?”

The māṇavaka A-she-he-luo-yan-duo-nan replied: “Gautama! If a horse and an ass mate, and because of that mating subsequently a colt is born, I don’t say it is an ass, and I don’t say it is a horse. Gautama, I only say it is a mule 騾 luo (2).

(1) 草馬 cao ma = (MW) “vaḍaba m. (also written vaḍava, baḍava, baḍaba) a male horse resembling a mare (and therefore attracting the stallion)” — but here, it seems to be used to mean “mare.” Lit. cao means “grass” and ma means “horse.”

(2) 騾 luo = “A mule, which is the result of mating a mare with a donkey.”

That suggests either the non-Pali version of this āgama had already eliminated the term, or the translator(s) glossed it (as did Bhikkhu Bodhi).


> On Nov 21, 2020, at 12:12 PM, Rolf Heinrich Koch via INDOLOGY <indology at> wrote:
> Tip 2:
> Neumann, Die Reden Gotama Buddhos (Majjhimanikāya), vol II, p. 705 (n. 228) reads
> vekurañjāya = vekuranvāya=vaikriyānvayāya and translates:
> Because of crossing (vekurañjāya) it is a mule.
> Heiner
> Am 21.11.2020 um 15:36 schrieb Artur Karp via INDOLOGY:
>> Dear List, 
>> I am working on a translation of the Pali Assalayana-sutta into Polish. 
>> And - the problem, with the term vekurañja. It appears in the text only once, meaning - according to the context - possibly 'hybrid; crossbreed'. But - I would like to be sure. The term is missing from Rhys-Davids and Stede's dictionary, nor is it to be found (in some Sanskrit form) in the Monier-Williams' dictionary.
>> Any tips - please?
>> With anti-pandemic greetings,
>> Artur Karp
>>  <>	Wolny od wirusów. <>
>> _______________________________________________
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> -- 
> Dr. Rolf Heinrich Koch
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