[INDOLOGY] dhīmahi

Walter Slaje walter.slaje at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 17:41:38 UTC 2021

Ṛgvedic dhīmahi was already recognised by the authors of PW (s.v. √dhī) as
belonging to √dhā, rejecting the error of native interpreters, who
attributed the verbal form to √dhyā, an historical inaccuracy with a shift
of meaning that European scholars on occasion have also supported,
intentionally or unintentionally (e.g., “we concentrate” [Michaels,
Hinduismus, 108f]).
On this mode of the optative formed from the stem of the root aorist:
dh-ī-mahi from √dhā, cf. Oldenberg (“Noten”, 261); Renou (Études XVI, 103);
Witzel, Gotō et al. (Rigveda in German Transl., Komm. p. 460, with further
literature); “might we make our own” (Brereton/Jamison, vol. I, 554).
Already before Oldenberg, it was correctly understood and accordingly
translated by Ludwig (“wollen wir uns schaffen” / “we would procure us”);
Graßmann (“Daß wir (...) erlangten doch”). However, the past tense
(“empfingen wir”) is used by Geldner.


Am Mo., 19. Juli 2021 um 19:19 Uhr schrieb Caley Smith via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info>:

> I always thought this was the self-benefactive use of the middle voice,
> just as dā in the parasmaipada is to give and dā in the ātmanepada is to
> give to oneself, and thus to take, dhīmahi as 1st pl middle optative to dhā
> as wishing "may we place/establish X for ourselves" = "may we requisition
> X" ? -- C
> On Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 1:12 PM Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> Some time ago, we had a discussion on the syntax of dhīmahi. But when I
>> search the archives, nothing shows up. Can someone help me?
>> Madhav M. Deshpande
>> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
>> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
>> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
>> Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore,
>> India
>> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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