Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The importance of learning #Sanskrit and having a good teacher

We are grateful for the hard work that has been done by so many volunteers who have set up websites and blogs translating stotras and pujas. But sometimes there are mistakes and it can be very frustrating. If you don't know Sanskrit, you are stuck with whatever word and translation that is given. However I have been fortunate enough  to learn a little Sanskrit, and more importantly to have met an Acharya, whose patience and intellectual generosity knows no bounds. He's never condescending, always ready to answer even the most basic query. I wish all enthusiasts had the opportunity to interact with someone like him to increase their knowledge. 

This exchange is only one example of many, many that I have had with him. Despite all his commitments, he responds as soon as possible and in more detail than one could possibly expect! I humbly request you to follow him, and to learn Sanskrit yourself to access the ancient scriptures in a more informed manner. For this is only one word in a stotra. Imagine the skills you need to read the shastra, purana, veda!

Earlier this week we translated verses from शिवाष्टकम् on #SanskritAppreciationHour. One particular compound was problematic as a result of different spellings on different websites (all of decent to good repute.) The verse was:

कपालं त्रिशूलं कराभ्यां दधानं पदाम्भोज नम्राय कामं ददानम्
बलीवर्द्यमानं  सुराणां प्रधानं शिवं शङ्करं शम्भुं ईशानं ईडे 6  

The compound in question appeared in three different sites as बलीवर्द्यमानम् बलीवर्धमानम् and बलीवर्द्ययानम् Puzzled, I approached Acharya Ramanuja DEVANATHAN (@iksusara) And he clarified for all or our benefit.

“Right word is बलीवर्दयानं, Other textual variations have no valid to the context. बलीवर्दः यानं यस्य सः=बलीवर्दयानः=शिवः, तं बलीवर्दयानं, बलीवर्दः=bull, one who has bull as his vehicle. बलम् अस्य अस्ति इति=बली, one who has strength. बली ईवर्दः =बलीवर्दः। ईवरौ ददाति इति=ईवर्दः one who gives wealth and boon. =wealth, वर्=boon, वर् =ईवरौ। So बलीवर्दः means one who has strength and gives wealth and boon. Shiva has बलीवर्दः as his vehicle.
I then asked Acharya:
Out of curiosity and only for purpose of discussion, I got balee-vardhamaanam from this site … Now, maana ending is aatmane pada present participle (growing, increasing) in my understanding, it cannot be used as a causative (preraka) as in - he causes strenght to increase. But in Hindi we do use vardhamaana in that sense. Could that be the cause for confusion?

He replied:

वर्धते>वर्धमान is OK. Same can be used as causative also. This is known as अन्तर्भावित णिच्। This simply means use of कर्तरि is treated as णिच् (causative), though there is no णिच्। The issue here is, it should be then बलिवर्धमानं not बलीवर्धमानम्। बलिः is both masculine and feminine gender (though meaning differs). So it should be with short vowel and with long vowel. Even if we take this बलिन् (बलम् अस्य अस्ति), then also it will take short vowel in a compound. So if we treat this as with short vowel (बलिवर्धमानं) then there arises another issue I.e. छन्दोभङ्गः। Meaning also does not fit into context. If it is बलवर्धमानं then OK. Again here छन्दोभङ्गः। Hence, it should be बलीवर्दयानं and meaning also clear. So it should be with short vowel and not with long vowel.

No comments: