[INDOLOGY] scarecrow again

Robert P. GOLDMAN rpg at berkeley.edu
Sun Apr 7 20:41:06 UTC 2024

Dear Arlo et al.,

A little contextualization of Apte’s citation of  (Vulgate) Rām . 6.66.6 =CE 6.54.6  may be of interest in this connection. The context is as follows. Sugrīva’s army of monkeys, seeing the gargantuan and terrifying rākṣasa warrior Kumbhakarṇa advancing toward them, panics, breaks ranks and flees.  In order to rally them Vibhīṣana, who knows perfectly well that it is, in fact,  his brother Kumbhakarṇa, lies to the troops, reassuring them that it is just  is some huge, (animated)  scarecrow (utthitam. . . rākṣasāṇaṃ vibhīsikam). We rendered the term as “scarecrow” which we believed fit the context of Vibhīṣaṇa’s deception. Other translators have taken it differently :

‘‘scarecrow towering amid the rākṣasas’’ utthitam. . . rākṣasāṇaṃ vibhisikam: Literally,
‘‘the upraised scarecrow of the rākṣasas.’’ We follow the suggestion of Cr (Śivasahāya), who
adds the term madhye, ‘‘in the midst,’’ to construe with the genitive rākṣasāṇaṃ. We
take the participle utthitam, ‘‘towering,’’ adjectivally as we did with the parallel participle
samucchrita in the same context at (6.49.31. Other translators have rendered the
phrase variously. Roussel (1903, vol. 3, p. 203), followed by Shastri (1959, vol. 3, p.
176) and Pagani (1999, p. 1034), understands the term vibhīṣika in its sense of ‘‘terror’’
rather than a physical object. Roussel translates, ‘‘Cette immense frayeur que ’inspirent les
Rakshasas.’’ Raghunathan (1982, vol. 3, p. 176) reads the genitive rākṣasāṇaṃ as if it
were an instrumental, construing it with the passive participle utthitam, and renders,
‘‘which the Rakshasas have raised.’’ Dutt (1893, p. 1312) and Gita Press (1969, vol. 3,
p. 1617) read utthitam as an active participle of an intransitive verb, rendering, respectively,
‘‘this fearful phenomenon of the Rakshasas that hath presented itself’’ and
‘‘this nightmare of the ogres, come into being.’’ (our notes to 6.54.6)

Earlier, at 6. 49.31  Vibhīṣaṇa, seeing that Rāvaṇa is about to turn Kumbhakarṇa loose on the monkeys,  tells Rāma of his plan that he will tell the monkeys that the giant is just some  huge mechanical device (yantram . . . samucchritam) which we rendered there as  “some giant mechanical man.”  The commentators have various interpretations, but the point is that what Vibhīṣana is falsely conjuring up is either an animated, mechanical device or some apparition conjured up by the rākṣasas’ māyā. Our note ad 6.49.31 reads as follows.

The idea seems to be that Vibhīṣaṇa wants to falsely represent the
gargantuan Kumbhakarṇa as an animated mannequin, designed merely to frighten
the monkeys. Ck  (Kataka)and Ct (Nāgeśa) explain that the monkeys are to be told that this was some
mere mechanical device created through the power of illusion and erected by Rāvaṇa
merely to cause fright. Therefore, Ck and Ct continue, it is really nothing at all.
(samucchritaṃ rāvaṇena. māyayā vibhīṣikārthaṃ nirmitaṃ kiṃcid yantramātram. ato na kiṃcid etad iti.) Cr (Śivasahāya) understands that Vibhīṣaṇa wants the monkeys to believe that it is a huge
mechanical rāksasa that loses its power when it comes into his, Vibhīṣaṇa’s, vicinity (samucchritam atipravrddham etat pradṛśyamānaṃ rakṣoyantraṃ matsamīpe samkucitatejo bhaviṣyatīti sesah).
Cg (Govindarāja) glosses, ‘‘a large, that is, a tall, device that is a scarecrow. (yantraṃ bibhīṣikā. samucchritam unnatam.)’’ See verse 6.54.5 and our note.

So, if we understand by “scarecrow” to be an immobile tṛṇapuruṣa, then, perhaps following Vibhīṣana  and Śivasahāya it may be one that is more  like L.Frank Baum’s Scarecrow on steroids.

Best to you all,

Bob Goldman

Dr. R.P. Goldman
William and Catherine Magistretti Professor of Sanskrit Emeritus
Professor in the Graduate School
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies 
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540

> On Apr 6, 2024, at 4:20 AM, Arlo Griffiths via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> I wish to thank the numerous colleagues who responded to my query on and off the list. In alphabetical order, they are Sadananda Das, Vincent Eltschinger, Rupert Gethin, Suhas Mahesh, Andrew Ollett, Walter Slaje, Harry Spier, Carmen Spiers. Forgive me if I forget anyone.
> Below I assemble all the data I have received or found myself, starting with references to Michaël Meyer's most convenient aggregation (known to me) of all relevant modern dictionaries.
> But all of this started for me with an attempt to help my student Zakariya Pamuji Aminullah edit the Sanskrit-Old Javanese lexicographic text part of the Old Javanese Candrakiraṇa (alias Chandakaraṇa) that he is editing for his PhD thesis. At the moment, his edition has two juxtaposed synonym sets (where Old Javanese ṅa means iti and introduces the Old Javanese terms corresponding to the Sanskrit ones).
> 307 Synonyms of Effigy
>       cañcā, ṅa riṅgit.
> 308 Synonyms of Scarecrow
>       kuṣmāṇḍī, ṅa pitakut. 
> He has direct access to three Javanese palm-leaf manuscripts (J1, J2, J2) plus Lokesh Chandra's edition which was based only on a Romanized transcript of J1.
> Lokesh Chandra. 1997. “Chanda-Karaṇa: The Art of Writing Poetry.” Cultural horizons of India, vol 6, by Lokesh Chandra, 140–242. Śata-Piṭaka Series 390. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan.
> Apparatus for the above passage:
> riṅgit] EdLC, riṅgit[... J1, ruṅgīt J2, lac. J3 (larger gap)
> riṅgit … (310.1) śiṅśapa] A gap due to loss intervenes in J1.
> kuṣmāṇḍī] conj., mumaṇḍih EdLC, mumaṇḍī J2, lac. J1 (larger gap), lac. J3 (larger gap).
> Alas, we have only one ms. that gives the OJ word pitakut, which expresses very literally the sense of bibhīṣikā/bibhīṣikā (the base takut means 'to fear', the prefix pi- adds causative meaning), and the corresponding Sanskrit was still preserved in ms. J1 when the person who made the transcription used by Lokesh Chandra had access to it in the course of the 20th c. and read mumaṇḍih, while we find mumaṇḍī in J2. Despite all the data received on Sanskrit terms meaning 'scarecrow', we still seem to have no word that is similar enough to mumaṇḍih/mumaṇḍī that Zakariya could adopt instead of the unconvincing conjecture kuṣmāṇḍī.
> Since cañcā does seem to be standard term for 'scarecrow' while the terms tr̥ṇapuruṣa/tr̥ṇapūruṣa is also common in that meaning, while an authority like the Viśvaprakāśa combines them both in one synonym set (cañco nalādinirmāṇe cañcā tu tr̥ṇapūruṣe |), I am even wondering if we should radically intervene in the transmission to merge both entries into one and get two Sanskirt terms for a single Old Javanese gloss, like this:
> 307 Synonyms of Scarecrow
>       cañcā, tr̥ṇapuruṣa, ṅa pitakut. 
> Suggestions are welcome.
> Best wishes,
> Arlo
> Dictionary entries
> cañcā                  https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/ca%C3%B1c%C4%81
> cañcāpāñcajana    https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/ca%C3%B1c%C4%81p%C4%81%C3%B1cajana
> cañcāpuruṣa       https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/ca%C3%B1c%C4%81puru%E1%B9%A3a
> cañcāveṣā         https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/ca%C3%B1c%C4%81ve%E1%B9%A3%C4%81
> jharaṅka          https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/jhara%E1%B9%85ka
> tr̥ṇakāminī       https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/t%E1%B9%9B%E1%B9%87ak%C4%81min%C4%AB
> tr̥ṇapuruṣa       https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/t%E1%B9%9B%E1%B9%87apuru%E1%B9%A3a
> bibhīṣikā         https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/bibh%C4%AB%E1%B9%A3ik%C4%81
> bibhīṣikā         https://michaelmeyer.fr/sanskrit/meta/terms/vibh%c4%ab%e1%b9%a3ik%c4%81
> Text passages
> Sanskrit 1. [Carmen Spiers]
> lemma: *śakuniprapatana-.
> attestation: Paippal¯¯dsaṁhitā 19.47.8 
> māṁsam ivāsinā śakuniprapatanāṁ kr̥dhi | 
> mr̥gām̐ anu pra pātaya marīcīr anu nāśaya ||
> comment Carmen Spiers: "śakuniprapatanā- seems to refer to something like a scarecrow in Atharvaveda, Paippalāsaṁhitā 19.47.8b; though it is an epithet applied to a woman whom the speaker wishes to become insane or shunned, a masculine form meaning "scarecrow" might be the inspiration for it."
> Sanskrit 2. [Suhas Mahesh]
> lemma: tr̥ṇa-pūruṣa
> attestation: Bhallaṭaśataka 1.74
> saṁrakṣituṁ kr̥ṣim akāri kr̥ṣīvalena paśyātmanaḥ pratikr̥tis **tr̥ṇapūruṣo** 'yam |
> stabdhasya niṣkriyatayāstabhiyo 'sya nūnam aśnanti gomr̥gagaṇāḥ pura eva sasyam ||
> Sanskrit 3. [Suhas Mahesh]
> lemma: tr̥ṇa-kr̥ta-kr̥trima-puruṣa
> attestation: Nītidviṣaṣṭikā of Sundarapāṇdya 104
> yo na dadāti na bhuṅkte vibhave sati naiva tasya tad dravyam |
> **tr̥ṇa-kr̥ta-kr̥trima-puruṣo** rakṣati sasyaṁ parasyārthe ||
> Sanskrit 4. [Andrew Ollett]
> lemma: vīrut-tr̥ṇa-maya-puruṣa in
> attestattion: Subhāṣitaratnakōṣa 264
> kāmaṁ kūlē nadīnām anugiri mahiṣīyūthanīḍōpakaṇṭhē
> gāhantē śaṣparājīr abhinavaśalabhagrāsalōkā balākāḥ
> antarvinyastavīruttr̥ṇamayapuruṣatrāsavighnaṁ kathañcit
> kāpotaṁ kodravāṇāṁ kavalayati kaṇān kṣētrakōṇaikadeśe 
> Ingalls' translation:
> By the streambank, up toward the hills,
> close by where the buffaloes are lying,
> the cranes stalk calmly through the young grass
> hunting for fresh locusts;
> the flock of doves, though hindered by their fear
> of straw-filled scarecrows set therein,
> yet manages to peck up grains of beggarweed
> along a corner of the field.
> Sanskrit 5. [Suhas Mahesh]
> lemma: cañcā
> attestation: Līlāvatīsāra 11.86 (L.D. Series edition)
> mahākulaṁ kalāsthānaṁ yuvānam api khecaram |
> manyate sva-guṇāhaṁyuś **cañcā**-sadhryañcam eva sā ||
> Sanskrit 6. [Arlo Griffiths]
> lemma: cañcā
> attestation: Amaraṭīkāsarvasva ed. Ganapati Sastri, vol. IV, p. 172
> manuṣyaḥ cañceva cañcāmanuṣyaḥ kharakuṭī nāpitaśālā | cañcā tr̥ṇamayaḥ puruṣo yaḥ kṣetrarakṣaṇāya kriyat
> Sanskrit 7. [Suhas Mahesh]
> lemma: *mr̥ga-kula-udbhēṣaka. 
> See Prakrit 1 below.
> Pali 1 [Rupert Gethin]
> lemma: tiṇa-purisaka
> attestation: Visuddhimagga 457 (XIV.113); Atthasālinī (111)
> comment Rupert Gethin: In the Abhidhamma definition of saññā we find: yathā-upaṭṭhitavisayapadaṭṭhānā tiṇapurisakesu migapotakānaṁ purisā ti uppannasaññā viyā, 'Its footing is an object as presented, as when young animals have the cognition ‘people’ with regard to scarecrows.'
> Prakrit 1 [Suhas Mahesh]
> jahiṁ tumaṁ saccaviā viṇiaṁsaṇa-lolirī juānehiṁ |
> te tattha cciya chette **maa-ula-ubbhesaā** jāā || Śr̥ṅgāraprakāśa p. 1195 (Josyer’s edition)
>       ** Skt mr̥ga-kula-udbhēṣaka.
> From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info <mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> on behalf of Arlo Griffiths via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
> Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2024 1:17 AM
> To: INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] scarecrow
> Dear colleagues,
> Looking through NWS (search term Vogelscheuche), MW, and even the English-Sanskrit dictionaries at https://sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/simple/, it is hard to find any words that evidently means 'scarecrow' in Sanskrit.
> Would anyone be able to point me to words expressing this meaning with some degree of plausibility?
> Best wishes,
> Arlo Griffiths
> _______________________________________________
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