martingansten at gmail.com
Wed May 18 06:47:14 UTC 2022
Many thanks to all who replied to this (mostly off-list). The general
consensus seems to be that the word refers to bottle gourd, and I see
that some sources, including Wikipedia, use the word calabash. Rajam's
comment about the use of these gourds as swimming aids (obliquely
confirmed by Aleksandar's Mokṣopāya/Yogavāsiṣṭha reference) was
particularly illuminating. I was beginning to wonder whether I had
misunderstood the image, as the author doesn't actually say /crossing/
the ocean, but simply /diving //into/ it (vigāhe). The swimming aid
makes perfect sense.
Here is the verse:
tārtīyakasiddhāntād yathāsvamatyoddhṛtaṃ śāstram |
kaṭutumbīphalavad idaṃ grāhyaṃ pṛcchārṇavavigāhe ||
'Let this teaching, extracted from the system of the Tatars according to
my own understanding, be used like a calabash on diving into the ocean
of [astrological] queries.'
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