[INDOLOGY] Metrical inconsistencies and tradition

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 16:14:26 EDT 2020


Since most of us don't have access to libraries right now, would any
members have a pdf of this to share.
 Its a topic I've been trying unsuccessfully to find information about for
years.

Thanks,
Harry Spier

On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 12:14 PM Witzel, Michael via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> See now:
>
> *Mieko Kajihara  (Tokyo Univ.) *
>
> *The Sacred Verse Sāvitrī in the Vedic Religion and Beyond. *
>
> *Journal of Indological Studies, Numbers 30 & 31 (2018-2019) pp. 1-36. *
>
> Cheers,
> MW
>
> On Mar 30, 2020, at 11:50 AM, Dominik Haas via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>
> Dear Harry,
>
> thanks a lot for the reference, didn't know this one! Even the wrong
> accent is noted there already.
>
> Well yes, mantras like these were called Gāyatrīs. The matter is a bit
> complicated though. As far as I have come to understand it, they were
> called thus because they imitate the famous Gāyatrī verse (Ṛgveda III
> 62.10) or are modified versions of it. But this verse acquired the name
> “Gāyatrī” rather late (considering its own age), for the first time perhaps
> in the Taittirīya-Āraṇyaka and then also in later additions the
> Dharmasūtras (in the Mahābharata, too, the verse is called Gāyatrī several
> times, especially in the later strata).
>
> So the point is that the modified Gāyatrīs were perhaps never actually
> thought to be in the *gāyatrī* metre (not even by its creators, whenever
> they lived), but were only called Gāyatrī because they resemble the verse.
> I normally use *gāyatrī *for the metre and Gāyatrī for the verse (I did
> not do so in my previous email though). So the modified Gāyatrīs are
> probably not examples for metrical license, i.e., they are not *gāyatrī*
> verses, even though they are called Gāyatrīs.
>
> But it could very well be that some commentator explained them to be in
> the *gāyatrī* metre, but a *gāyatrī* metre with extra syllables etc.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Dominik
>
> __________________
> *Dominik A. Haas, BA MA*
> PhD Candidate, University of Vienna
> dominik.haas at univie.ac.at
> ORCID 0000-0002-8505-6112
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>
>
> On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 8:45 AM Dominik Haas via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>
>>
>> Perhaps a short note on the modified “Gāyatrīs” in the
>> Maitrāyaṇī-Saṃhitā: the creators of these verses simply inserted a certain
>> deity without too much regard for metre. The non-adjusted accentuation
>> perhaps also shows that the “Gāyatrīs” in this text are more pieced
>> together than composed anew (*pracodáyāt* is still accented, even though
>> it's now the verb of a main clause – or is there another explanation?).
>>
> Thank you for this Dominik.
>
> The author in the following link, for the reasons you've mentioned and
> because the gayatris are  mostly to later deities, argues that this section
> of the  Maitrāyaṇī-Saṃhitā:   is interpolated:
> https://books.google.ca/books?id=X0JUwf2BXVAC&pg=PA57&lpg=PA57&dq=maitrayani+samhita+x.9.1&source=bl&ots=zfBpMv9w-q&sig=ACfU3U2LME_WHFLc9K4mr4lvOD8UVoCkEg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIuojYs8LoAhUImuAKHYHQDPEQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=maitrayani%20samhita%20x.9.1&f=false
> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__books.google.ca_books-3Fid-3DX0JUwf2BXVAC-26pg-3DPA57-26lpg-3DPA57-26dq-3Dmaitrayani-2Bsamhita-2Bx.9.1-26source-3Dbl-26ots-3DzfBpMv9w-2Dq-26sig-3DACfU3U2LME-5FWHFLc9K4mr4lvOD8UVoCkEg-26hl-3Den-26sa-3DX-26ved-3D2ahUKEwiIuojYs8LoAhUImuAKHYHQDPEQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ-23v-3Donepage-26q-3Dmaitrayani-2520samhita-2520x.9.1-26f-3Dfalse&d=DwMDaQ&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=tFXzIbyKS2C0TpVqKsMrj46qwsAermBN5wzaDe51So0&m=D4CPG7AdYt2M9wvLgDyU9v4FiVY8uLgVd_HKq5xVfGM&s=wp_nAROr8ZmmHizUXyUIS26tKLO2dbPIOY-F3LTGoLA&e=>
>
> You also asked:
>  I wonder whether and where they are actually called Gāyatrīs?
>
> If you do a search of the Muktabodha searchable e-text  digital library
> for <gAyatrI> you'll see that throughout the tantric literature these types
> of mantras are called   gāyatrī or gāyatrīmatra or  the deity name
> compounded with  gāyatrī  such as: nṛsiṃhagāyatrī  etc. If I recall
> correctly they are called  gāyatrī much more often than  gāyatrīmantra.
>
> Harry Spier
>
>
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>
> Michael Witzel
> Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, 1 Bow
> Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
> ph. 1 - 617 496 2990
> witzel at fas.harvard.edu
> www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm
>
>
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