Monday, 24 September 2012

Bhagvad Gita IX:26

The Bhagavad Gita and this verse  in particular marks the water shed between the post-vedic dharma-sutra age, and the age of Bhakti. A new relationship with a personal God that is predicated on devotion, simplicity and complete faith. 

He who offers to me with devotion and a pure heart; A leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water
that offering of devotion I accept from him.

पत्त्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं
यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति
तद् अहं भक्त्युपहृम्
अश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः
(These verses presuppose a knowledge of sandhi. Since we haven't done it together, I will do the vigraha where necessary. There will also be a lot of grammar that we haven't learnt yet, but no harm in getting used to it this way. Everything will become clear as the course progresses.)

पत्त्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं
पत्त्रम् (neuter, accusative, singular) leaf
पुष्पम् (neuter, accusative, singular) flower
फलम् (neuter, accusative, singular) fruit
तोयम् (neuter, accusative, singular) water

यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति
यः (masculine, nominative, singular) He (वह/जो)
मे (masc., dative, sing.) to me. Alternate form of मह्यम्
भक्त्या (fem., instrument, sing.) with devotion, with love
प्रयच्छति (3rd person, singular, present pra+√yam) [he/she] offers, presents, goes towards

तद् अहं भक्त्युपहृम्

तत् (neuter, accusative, singular) that
अहम् - I
भक्ति (fem., nom., sing) devotion, love
उपहृतम् (accusative, past participle upa+hṛ) offered, presented
(भक्त्युपहृम्=  acc.,singular, tatpurusha cpd, offered with love or offering of love)
अश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः
अश्नामि I eat (1st person, singular, present aś)
प्रयतात्मनः = प्रयत + आत्मनः= from him whose self is pure (masc, ablative, sing., bahuvrihi compound)

Literal translation are often clumsy, but important if you want to know exactly what is being said in the original. Beyond that every translator is an interpreter, and that is why we have so many translations of the same verse. None are exactly right or wrong. They only approximate the original. That is why I study Sanskrit. So that I can receive the scriptures in the original. It filters out the interpretive opinion of others.

The literal translation of this verse (according to me) would be: From him whose self is pure, he who offers me a leaf, a flower, a fruit (and) water with devotion, I (lit.) eat that which is offered to me with devotion. 

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