[INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 21 02:04:58 UTC 2023

Dear colleagues,

I want to thank Dominik for sharing this piece and add that the analysis can be extended to the rather closely related Oriya script. The Oriya character which is normally considered to represent "cha" is obviously, from a diachronic perspective, actually geminated "ccha". Just compare the standard printed "cha" as shown at <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odia_script> with the various illustrations in Chakraborty et al. 2021.

I have not studied sufficient (Vedic and non-Vedic) manuscripts in Oriya script to know if any developments could be detected in the Oriya tradition itself between earlier and more recent manuscripts but I strongly suspect that if the manuscripts of the Paippalādasaṁhitā (PS) that I have studied tend to use that same geminated form for writing verbs like ଗଛତି, which should be transliterated gachati by contemporary norms, the scribes may well have intended gacchati. And this possibility increases the further one goes back in time in the written tradition.

For this reason, I think now that what I have written about "Initial and intervocalic ch" on pp. LIX–LX of my 2009 book<https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01917946/document> is to be revised. In short, I now think I was not sufficiently attuned to diachronic developments in script when I affirmed that the Oriya mss. of the PS tend to spell ch instead of expected cch.

From the case of the PS I extrapolate that the entire scholarly perception of "Vedic ch" may be skewed by facts such as these:

(a) the synchronic characteristics and palaeographic backgrounds of the scripts on which editions are based (starting from Müller's RV edition) are hardly represented in scholarship
(b) comparison is rarely made, if at all, with how non-Vedic Sanskrit manuscripts from the same regional writing traditions on which editions of Vedic texts were based.

I think the issue of "Vedic ḷ" (for intervocalic ḍ) must be reconsidered in the same light.

To explain, I imagine that, Max Müller and his successors in editing Vedic texts actually encountered the same spelling features in the mss. they used for editing the RV and other Vedic texts, as those that were found by other scholars working on classical Sanskrit texts from the same manuscript catchment areas, but that Vedic texts were edited with a lesser tendency to normalize manuscript spellings. And the result was that their editorial choices took a life of their own in subsequent Vedic scholarship as it got ever more detached in the course of the 20th century from the manuscript basis of the textual corpus to which this field of scholarship is devoted.

Or does one really not find intervocalic ळ and छ for expected ड and च्छ in classical Sanskrit manuscripts from the parts of Northwestern and Western India (notably Maharashtra) where 19th-c. Western scholars sourced their Vedic mss.?

I don't remember the details but I seem to recall that when I read Jürgen Hanneder's stimulating discussion of Max Müller's RV edition (in his book To edit or not to edit: On textual criticism of Sanskrit works, 2017), I found that considerations such as the above were not adequately addressed.

Arlo Griffiths

From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2023 1:34 PM
To: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

This paper may be of interest in the context of scribal practice:

Chakraborty, Deepro, Jason Eric Birch, Dominik Wujastyk, Andrey Klebanov, Harshal Bhatt, Madhusudan Rimal, and Vandana Lele. 2021. “The Graphemes Ch and Cch in the Nepalese Script.” Academia Letters, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.20935/al3954.

On Fri, 20 Oct 2023 at 03:45, Nagaraj Paturi via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
This discussion of paurushetva and apaurusheyatva of the Vedas is not related to , so a digression from the present relevant topic of primacy of orality while deciding the 'spelling' of certain phonetic/phomemic sequences.

Prof. Hock, Hans Henrich brought up the pertinent point of primacy of orality while deciding the 'spelling'  and Sri Harry Spier too rightly is focusing his attention on that aspect and trying to know the history / chronology of the shift from orality alone situation to literate (oral-literate dual ? ) situation..

गीती शीघ्री शिरःकम्पी तथा लिखितपाठकः ।
अनर्थज्ञोऽल्पकण्ठश्च षडेते पाठकाधमाः ।। ३२ ।।

is from पाणिनीयशिक्षा/सप्तमखण्डः available here<https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B6%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B7%E0%A4%BE/%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%96%E0%A4%A3%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A1%E0%A4%83>.

So , that is the reason , the guru in Pune was apologetic in saying that the sishyas were using the printed version only tentatively.

On Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 12:21 PM alakendu das via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
Mr. Hart,
Mahabharata's  'Shantiparva ( 210/19)  specifically mentions the Apaurasheya " nature of the Vedas.

" Hrrishaya MantraDrashtarO
   Na tu Bedasya Kartaro"
 Na Kaschid Veda Karta cha
 VedaSmarta Chaturbhuja".

SayanaAcharya's commentary on Vedas, too, reflects an identical view

"Josya niswashitam Veda jo VedabhyaAkhilam Jogot. "....

I apologise for my inability to type in Sanskrit.

Any further elucidation/ correction  on the above would be highly beneficial.

Alakendu Das

From: indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Fri, 20 Oct 2023 03:04:48
To: Indology List <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

Well, perhaps not entirely apauruṣeya. See the RV:

ए॒तं ते॒ स्तोमं॑ तुविजात॒ विप्रो॒ रथं॒ न धीरः॒ स्वपा॑ अतक्षम् ।
यदीद॑ग्ने॒ प्रति॒ त्वं दे॑व॒ हर्याः॒ स्व॑र्वतीर॒प ए॑ना जयेम ॥ ५.००२.११

On Oct 19, 2023, at 12:13 PM, alakendu das via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:

Mr. Spier,

What we have learnt from Indological studies, Vedas were never written. We call it "Apaurasheya"... i. e. not written.
The Vedic Mantras came as revealations to the seers( we call them 'Drashta" i. e. one who sees) while in Meditation.
The hymns or mantras were then recited orally and passed on across generations of disciples. who memorised them.
Finally, sage Vyasa arranged a compilation and  divided them among his 4 disciples namely, Poilo, Boishampayan, Jaimini and Sumanta.
Thus we got the 4 Vedas

In the 19th Century, Max Mueller edited the


Alakendu  Das.

From: indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Thu, 19 Oct 2023 19:40:15
To: "Hock, Hans Henrich" <hhhock at illinois.edu<mailto:hhhock at illinois.edu>>
Cc: McComas Taylor via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Whitney and doubling of "ch"

Hans Heinrich Hock wrote:
Whatever the motivation may be for the spelling with a single <ch> in the Rig Veda (and let’s keep in mind that the “real” Rig Veda is oral),
1) Can someone point me to some article on when and why the Rg-veda was first written down . what script etc.  Was it a British initiative or was the whole or parts written down before the colonial period?  I've seen in a modern Taittiriya Vedashala the students practicing some of their mantras using  written material.  Did the medieval and later Vedashalas also use written materials to teach their students?

2) Is it possible that this  "Rg-veda written spelling gachati etc." is just a reflection of what was written when the Rg-veda was first written down?

Harry Spier

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Nagaraj Paturi

Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

Senior Director, IndicA
BoS, MIT School of Vedic Sciences, Pune, Maharashtra
BoS Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Ramtek, Maharashtra
BoS Veda Vijnana Gurukula, Bengaluru.
Member, Advisory Council, Veda Vijnana Shodha Samsthanam, Bengaluru
BoS Rashtram School of Public Leadership
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Studies in Public Leadership
Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies,
FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.

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