Passages containing puns on drum syllables

aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca
Tue Nov 19 15:17:30 EST 1996


In response to the inquiry by N. Mohkamsing:

The following contains a skilful use of Paa.ninian suutras as well as drum
syllables (probably as spoken by teachers and dance accompanists):

kupvo.h ka.h-pau ca ;se.so ghy asakhi sasaju.so rur viraamo 'vasaanam
;sa;s cho .tiity-aadi ;sabdai.h sadasi yadi ;sa.thaa.h ;saabdika.h
pa.n.ditaa.h syu.h /
te.saa.m ko vaaparaadha.h kathayata satata.m ye pa.thantiiha thontat-
taa-thayyaa-thayya-thayyaa-dhiga-dhiga-dhiga-dhik-thayya-thayyeti ;sabdaan //

The verse mentioned by M. Deshpande,
 matir eva balaad gariiyasii
        tad-abhaave kari.naam iyam da"saa
iti gho.sayatiiva .di.n.dima.h
        kari.no hastipakaahata.h kva.na //, as he himself notes, is
different in that it refers to drum beating but does not actually reproduce
any drum sounds.

Incidentally, detecting some poetic blemishes in the otherwise charming and
insightful verse cited by Deshpande, I wrote the following a few years ago:

        "[verse tr:] 'Intelligence is more important than physical
strength.  It is the absence of intelligence that has reduced the elephants
to this (sorry) state (of being beasts of burden).' This is what the drum
sounding when beaten by the mahout announces to the elephants."
        Here, kva.nan 'soundingæ is really not necessary, and kari.na.h 'to
the elephantsæ does not serve much of a purpose, unless a specific context
in which elephants are to be aroused or in which a particular mahout
wishing to 'rub it in' to the elephants is presupposed, is created.  Also,
the crucial reference to the fact that the physically less powerful man is
sitting on top of the elephant is missing.
        I would, therefore, propose that the verse be rewritten as follows:
iti gho.sayatiiva .di.n.dima.h  kari-p.r.s.tha-sthita-haastikaahata.h .'...
This is what the drum beaten by the mahout atop the elephant announces.'

        I do not have time to verify this, but my recollection is that the
dhik taan verse is attributed to K.r.s.na-liilaa-;suka-muni (F. Wilson
produced a critical edn and tr of one of his works several years ago).







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