[INDOLOGY] Aditya-varna

Howard Resnick hr at ivs.edu
Thu Jan 23 12:17:22 EST 2014


Thanks Dermot. We fully agree on this.
Howard

On Jan 23, 2014, at 7:55 AM, dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk wrote:

> Dear Howard,
> 
> Thanks for your message. 
> 
> This thread seems to have got a bit tangled. James' question was whether 
> AdityavarNa was common as an adjective; your answer was that Aditya isn't common 
> as an adjective. That's a different question, but I think your answer is right. As MW 
> implies, it's a vrddhi formation, and is therefore an adjective ("mfn" in MW's notation), 
> meaning etymologically "belonging to or descended from Aditi", but it's mostly used in 
> the masculine, meaning a class of gods or the sun(-god). Returning to Aditya-varNa, 
> in the verse that appears in BhG 8.9 and in earlier contexts, it looks like a bahuvrihi, 
> which is by nature an adjectival phrase (though like any adjectival formation in Skt it 
> can be used as a noun).
> 
> With b est wishes,
> 
> Dermot
> 
> 
> On 22 Jan 2014 at 11:24, Howard Resnick wrote:
> 
>> Actually, James raised the “irrelevant” question regarding Aditya. I
>> replied that at least in MW, where Aditya is the first member of a
>> compound, it is rarely used adjectivally, though Aditya may act as an
>> adjective.
>> 
>> I’m not sure that either the question or the answer were intended to
>> be relevant to a greater issue. Technically, it seems that Aditya in
>> Bg 8.9 can be part of a bahu-vrihi, as you point out, or it may be an
>> adjective.
>> 
>> Best,
>> hr
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Jan 22, 2014, at 11:03 AM, dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk wrote:
>> 
>>> Dear James,
>>> 
>>> I was interested in your query about the Buddha and the responses to
>>> it, though I don't think I've any answers.
>>> 
>>> On Aditya-varNa in BhG 8.9: it's a bahuvrIhi compound phrase, and as
>>> such it's adjectival, meaning most obviously "sun-coloured, having
>>> the colour of the sun". Howard Resnick's question as to whether
>>> Aditya is an adjective is irrelevant: it's quite usual to have a
>>> noun as first member of a bahuvrIhi.
>>> 
>>> The pAda Aditya-varNaM tamasaH parastAt is a Vedic quotation. The
>>> whole verse (vedAham etaM puruSaM mahAntam AdityavarNaM tamasaH
>>> parastAt | tam eva viditvAti mRtyum eti nAnyaH panthA vidyate
>>> 'yanAya "I know that great Man, sun- coloured, beyond darkness | by
>>> knowing him alone one passes beyond death; there is no other path to
>>> go") occurs as vAjasaneyi saMhitA 31.18, taittirIya AraNyaka
>>> 3.12.7a, and zvetAzvatara upaniSad 3.8.
>>> 
>>> It's evidently a well-known Vedic verse; the second half occurs
>>> again in zvetAzvatara upaniSad 6.15. Both this text and BhG are fond
>>> of such quotations and partial quotations. It even occurs in the
>>> video of Peter Brook's dramatization of the Mbh, chanted as a lament
>>> for the slain after the battle.
>>> 
>>> With best wishes,
>>> 
>>> Dermot
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
>>> http://listinfo.indology.info
>>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 





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