SankarAcArya's bhagavad gItA bhAshya: 2. 19-20
WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Thu Jun 10 03:14:16 CDT 1999
On Tue, 8 Jun 1999 Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> The practice of putting avagraha in the sandhi between bhUtvA and abhavitA
> seems to be a modern one, a sign of how academic transliteration into Roman
> script has affected nAgarI script in reverse. My impression is that
> manuscripts generally use avagraha only to show the elided akAra after the
> visarga. In the absence of this avagraha, both readings would be possible,
> depending upon how one splits the words in the verse.
That's a useful rule of thumb. Thanks very much!
However, in this particular case (taking abhavitA as correct), the
two words should then NOT be written with a space separating them
(as I have it in several editions).
> According to SankarAcArya's commentary, the reading should be abhavitA,
Accepting the master's reading over the printed form, I explored
the word abhavitA further, and was delighted by the discovery.
I first assumed that bhUtvA is a participle forming a subordinate
clause and expected a main clause containing a finite verb, and
thus read bhavitA as bhU+luT. But na~n is not an upasarga, and
therefore cannot be prefixed to the verb, thus bhavitA must be
prathamA of bhavitR. The dictionary entry for that (M-W 749c)
mentions that the form bhavitA is "also used as a future tense
with or without /as". So, taking asti as the implied finite
verb in the sentence, na~n may again be prefixed to bhavitA.
This construction prevents the reading of bhU+luT (anadyatane),
which is particularly inappropriate given the imminent battle,
and allows reading the sense of bhU+lRT (indefinite future),
which one would have expected here anyway. So this na~n is
essential for the grammar, syntax, and semantics.
The wonder of it is that, due to saMdhi, this essential "a"
is not evident. Silence is extraordinary.
> >(2) I usually consider dhAtu /bhU as punctual and dhAtu /as as
> > durative/stative (that's personal, and may be wrong!), so I
> > have difficulty associating /bhU with the Immutable. Since
> I usually do the same too. Within the spectrum of being and becoming, one
> has to choose!
Another brilliant one-liner!
It does illuminate how one's thinking is so often 180 degrees out:
the fact is, I have difficulty dissociating /bhU from the Immutable!
> I must also draw attention to verse 2. 26 (... enaM
> nityajAtaM nityaM vA manyase mRtam, etc.). It seems to have gone generally
> unnoticed that after spending so much effort on describing the Atman as
> unborn, immutable etc., the gItA still shows Krishna as leaving room for
> Arjuna to think otherwise.
Context! Context! Context! I habitually get bogged down in the
details (as with bhavitA) - thanks for lifting me out!
< superb contextual explanation snipped >
And putting me back in the main flow of the argument.
> I haven't still stopped
> marvelling at the wonderful word-play in this verse, and the meaning that
> the commentator has extracted out of it - AScaryavat paSyAmi.
It shines through your posts!
> Isn't this meter trishTubh?
Oops! Yes, that is what I meant.
> The changes of meter do mark off the
> moments of critical transition and the effect is something to be heard when
> recited out loud.
Ah, yes! I can appreciate the emotional impact of a change in rhythm
from English poetry.
> Thanks! I look forward to more of your comments in the future, as I know
> they are based upon a keen understanding of Sanskrit grammar. The
Keen means enthusiastic, rather than incisive, in my case.
> translation could only benefit by them. It is certainly a daunting task,
Daunt: to tame, subdue <-- L. domare, to tame <-- Skt. damu upaSame.
Daunting task --> tranquil mind. That's a problem ?
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