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vii. 18, 8. duh-âdhyâh aditim sreváyántah aketásah ví gagribhre párushnîm.
Professor Roth in one of his earliest essays translated this line, "The evil-disposed wished to dry the earth, the fools split the Parushnî,' and he supposed its meaning to have been that the enemies of Sudâs swam across the Parushnî in order to attack Sudâs. We might accept this translation, if it could be explained how by throwing themselves into the river, the enemies made the earth dry, though even then there would remain this difficulty that, with the exception of one other doubtful passage, discussed before, áditi never means earth. I should therefore propose to translate : "The evil-disposed, the fools, laid dry and divided the resistless river Parushna.' This would be a description of a strategem very common in ancient warfare, viz. diverting the course of a river and laying its original bed dry by digging a new channel, and thus dividing the old river. This is also the sense accepted by Sâyana, who does not say that vigraha means dividing the waves of a river, as Professor Roth renders kûlabheda, but that it means dividing or cutting through its banks. In the Dictionary Professor Roth assigns to aditi in this passage the meaning of endless, inexhaustible.
Verse 12, note 6. Nothing is more difficult in the interpretation of the Veda than to gain an accurate knowledge of the power of particles and conjunctions. The particle kaná, we are told, is used both affirmatively and negatively, a statement which shows better than anything else the uncertainty to which every translation is as yet exposed. It is perfectly true that in the text of the Rig-veda, as we now read it, kaná means both indeed and no. But this very fact shows that we ought to distinguish where the first collectors of the Vedic hymns have not distinguished, and that while in the former case we read kana, we ought in the latter to read ka na.
I begin with those passages in which kaná is used emphatically and as one word.
I a. In negative sentences : i. 18, 7. yásmât rité ná sídhyati yagñáh vipah-kítah kaná.
Without whom the sacrifice does not succeed, not even that of the sage.
v. 34, 5. ná ásunvatâ sakate púshyatâ kaná.
He does not cling to a man who offers no libations, even though he be thriving.
i. 24, 6. nahí te kshatrám ná sáhah ná manyúm váyah kaná amí (íti) patáyantah âpúh.
For thy power, thy strength, thy anger even these birds which fly up, do not reach.
Cf. i. 100, 15 i. 155, 5. tritîyam asya nákih â dadharshati váyah kaná patáyantah patatrínah.
This third step no one approaches, not even the winged birds which fly up.
i. 55, 1. diváh kit asya varimã ví papratha, índram ná mahnã prithivi kaná práti.
The width of the heavens is stretched out, even the earth in her greatness is no match for Indra.
I b. In positive sentences : vii. 32, 13. pûrvih kaná prá-sitayah taranti tám yáh índre kármanâ bhúvat.
Even many snares pass him who is with Indra in his work.
viii. 2, 14. ukthám kaná sasyámânam ágoh aríh ã kiketa, ná gâyatrám gîyámânam.
A poor man may learn indeed a prayer that is recited, but not a hymn that is sung.
viii. 78, 10. táva ít indra ahám â-sásâ háste dîtram kaná ã dade.
Trusting in thee alone, O Indra, I take even this sickle in
i. 55, 5. ádha kaná srát dadhati tvíshi-mate índrâya vágram ni-ghánighnate vadhám.
Then indeed they believe in Indra, the majestic, when he hurls the bolt to strike.
i. 152, 2. etát kaná tvah ví kiketat eshâm. Does one of them understand even this?
iv. 18, 9. mámat kaná used in the same sense mámat kit.
i. 139, 2. dhîbhíh kaná mánasâ svébhih akshá-bhih. V. 41, 13. váyah kaná su-bhvãh ã áva yanti.
vii. 18, 9. âsúh kaná ít abhi-pitvám gagama.
viii. 91, 3. ã kaná tvâ kikitsâmah ádhi kaná tvâ ná
We wish to know thee, indeed, but we cannot under-
X. 49, 5. ahám randhayam mrígayam srutárvane yát mâ
vi. 26, 7. ahám kaná tát sûrí-bhih ânasyâm.
I c. Frequently kaná occurs after interrogative pro-
i. 74, 7. ná yóh upabdíh ásvyah srinvé ráthasya kát
No sound of horses is heard, and no sound of the chariot,
i. 81, 5. ná tvá-vân indra káh kaná ná gâtáh ná gani-
No one is like thee, O Indra, no one has been born, no
i. 84, 2O. my te rấchấmsi my te ttayah vaso (ít) asmẩn
May thy gifts, may thy help, O Vasu, never fail us !
Many more passages might be given to illustrate the use of
Cf. i. 105, 3 ; 136, 1; 139, 5; ii. 16, 3; 23, 5; 28, 6;
I d. In a few passages, however, we find the inde-
i. 113, 8. ushấh mritám kám kaná bodháyantî.
i. 191, 7. ádrishtâh kím kaná iná vah sárve sâkám ní gasyata.
Invisible ones, whatever you are, vanish all together!
II. We now come to passages in which kaná stands for ka ná, and therefore renders the sentence negative without any further negative particle:
ii, 16, 2. yásmât índrât brihatáh kím kaná îm rité.
Beside whom, (beside) the great Indra, there is not anything
ii. 24, 12. vísvam satyám magha-vânâ yuvoh ít ấpah kaná pra minanti vratám vấm.
Everything, you mighty ones, belongs indeed to you ; even the waters do not transgress your law.
iii. 30, 1. títikshante abhi-sastim gánânâm andra tvát ã káh kaná hí pra-ketáh.
They bear the scoffing of men; for Indra, away from thee there is no wisdom.
iv. 30, 3. vísve kaná ít anã tvâ devấsah indra yuyudhuh.
Even all the gods together do not fight thee, O Indra.
v. 34, 7. duh-gé kaná dhriyate vísvah ã purú gánah yah asya távishîm ákukrudhat.
Even in a stronghold many a man is not often preserved who has excited his anger.
vii. 83, 2. yasmin âgã bhávati kím kaná priyám.
In this passage I formerly took kaná as affirmative, not as negative, and therefore assigned to prayotã the same meaning which Sâyana assigns to it, one who brings or mixes, whereas it ought to be, as rightly seen by Roth, one who removes.
viii. 1, 5. mahé kaná tvãm adri-vah párâ sulkấya deyâm, ná sahásrâya ná ayútâya vagri-vah ná satấya sata-magha.
I should not give thee up, wielder of the thunderbolt, even for a great price, not for a thousand, not for ten thousand (?), not for a hundred, O Indra, thou who art possessed of a hundred powers !
viii. 51, 7. kadã kaná starih asi.
Verse 12, note 6. Considering the particular circumstances mentioned in this and the preceding hymn, of Indra's forsaking his companions, the Maruts, or even scorning their help, one feels strongly tempted to take tyágas in its etymological sense of leaving or forsaking, and to translate, by his forsaking you, or if he should forsake you. The poet may have meant the word to convey that idea, which no doubt would be most appropriate here; but then it must be confessed, at the same time, that in other passages where tyágas occurs, that meaning could hardly be ascribed to it. Strange as it may seem, no one who is acquainted with the general train of thought in the Vedic hymns can fail to see that tyágas in most passages means attack, onslaught; it may be even the instrument of an attack, a weapon. How it should come to take this meaning is indeed difficult to explain, and I do not wonder that Professor Roth in his Dictionary simply renders the word by forlornness, need, danger, or by estrangement, unkindness, malignity. But let us look at the passages, and we shall see that these abstract conceptions are quite out of place :
viii. 47, 7. ná tám tigmám kaná tyágah ná drâsad abhí
No sharp blow, no heavy one, shall come near him whom you protect.
Here the two adjectives tigmá, sharp, and gurú, heavy, point to something tangible, and I feel much inclined to take tyágas in this passage as a weapon, as something that is let off with violence, rather than in the more abstract sense of onslaught.
i. 169, 1. maháh kit asi tyágasah varûtã. Thou art the shielder from a great attack.