gaudapaada and buddha (was Re: brahman by ...)

Kim Poulsen poulsen at DK-ONLINE.DK
Tue Nov 26 20:38:07 CST 1996

Vidyasankar Sundaresan:
>while you do make an interesting case for the Buddhist overtones in GK IV,
>the following translation is not correct grammatically.

>> kramate na hi buddhasya GYaanaM dharmeshhu taayinaH |
>> sarve dharmaaH tathaa GYaanaM na etat.h buddhena bhaashhitam.h || 99||
>> na hi buddhasya GYaanam, ..the knowledge of the Buddha does not,
>> kramate, ...go, dharmeshhu taayinaH, ...into the doctrines of the
>> (Buddha, viz. Gautama Buddha) ).
>> (here Nikhilananda completely destroys the word taayin.h, as
>> was sunishchita before - two distinctive epithets of the Buddha)
>> sarve dharmaaH tathaa GYaanaM, .....all these doctrines and so the
>> knowledge, na etat.h buddhena bhaashhitam.h, ....(was) not expounded
>> by this Buddha.

>I will not go into whether "dharma" means object or doctrine here. Let us
>take "na etat.h buddhena bhaashitam.h". Most certainly, this cannot be
>translated as "was not expounded by this buddha". etat.h cannot qualify
>buddhena in this verse, simply because of the cases employed. etat.h is
>nominative, buddhena is the instrumental form of buddha. I have yet to see
>non-Vedic Sanskrit, where a nominative pronoun goes with an instrumental
>noun. Therefore, I do not see this as a reference to "this buddha",
>although the reference is definitely to "buddha". The correct grammatical
>translation of this sentence, whatever be the philosophical predilections
>of the translator, is, "this (etat.h) was not spoken (na bhaashitam.h) by
>buddha (buddhena)."

  Thank you, permit me please to answer your post in several tempi, as I'm
caught up with much to do. Now while the translation were admittedly
speedily made up last night (and finished at 3 in the morning), I still had
reason for most of my readings. Furthermore you will find some of
Nikhikananda's readings far more innovative than mine.

  In the case of this, etat.h, I made the following observations from
Speijer's  syntax p. 20 that the neuter singular accusative of pronouns
may be made to serve adverbially, where etat.h may mean "in this (well-
to the audience)  specific case (viz. the Buddha and his teachings) ". But
watching the sentence today I will have to say that you are probably right.
I can
see nothing grammaticaly wrong in an adverb (noun implied)+an
past passive participle serving  as a verb. BUT the more usual would be the
subject  pointing to "knowledge" + etc.
  Having said that nothing in my translation is changed with regard to
meaning. "The teachings of the Buddha" clearly identifies the Buddha. To
this clear identification and render all other cases where the word is used
"the wise
(presumably unknown) is where a mistake in meaning (rather than syntax) is

  In the case of sadaa I had a distinctive classification of Buddhas in
mind (I  cannot locate it just now, but it refers to Buddhas of 3 aspects),
occured to me how easy the two instrumental cases (especially since the
occurs after each other) sataa buddhaiH, could change into sadaa buddhaiH.
  I will have to look it up, it will remain conjectural on my part."Always"
has the  problem of making Gaudapada state that he is familiar with the
teachings of several Buddhas always teaching the same thing.

  As to the case of translating dharma into doctrine (which is vital to the
meaning) when used in context with the Buddha, this is almost a clear-cut
case.  "The Buddha's objects" and "the wise and the jiivas",
When all impropable solutions are eliminated, the remaining must be - a
real good working hypothesis.

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