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Studies in the Veda 89 

am not sure. It seems to me so obvious that I feel sure it would 
hav becom commonplace ere now, but for the facts that (1) lati 
is so rare and late a word in Sanskrit, and (2) comparativly 
few Sanskritists, unhappily, kno anything about the modern 
dialects. 



STUDIES IN THE VEDA 

Franklin Edgerton 
University of Pennsylvania 

8. A-dlS IN THE ElGVEDA. 1 

No careful study of ^ a-dis and its derivativs in the Bigveda 
has yet been- made. The nearest approach to one is found in 
Oldenberg's remarks, ZDMG 55. 292, and Bgveda Noten on 6. 
4. 5. Oldenberg finds that adis as a noun usually refers to 
'feindliche Anschlage.' This I believ to be tru; but I think 
that both the noun and the verb can be more accurately defined. 

My belief is that the verb a-dis (always in RV a reduplicating 
present, adidesati, or intensiv, ddeditfe) means invariably 'to 
aim at' (with hostil intent), nearly always in the literal sense, 
'to aim with a wepon at' (with accusativ of the person or thing 
aimd at). The noun adis likewise always means 'aim,' and in 
evry case except possibly one or two it also implies hostil intent. 

Fundamental ar the two passages 9. 70. 5 cd and 10. 61. 3 cd . 
The first reads : 

visa susmena badhate vi durmatir adedisanah saryaheva 
surudhah. 

'The viril (Indra) overcoms the evil-disposed by his furious 
energy, aiming at them as an archer at opposing warriors 
( ? surudhali of uncertain meaning, but cannot affect the ques- 
tion).' — The second reads: 

& yah sdrydbhis tuvinrmno asyasrlnitadisam gabhastdu. 
'Who with vigorous strength prepares his aim with arrows in 
the hand.' 
Most of the occurrences of a-dis as a verb belong so obviously 



1 Cf. Fay, above, page 83. For the first seven Studies in this series, 
see AJP 35. 435 ff., JAOS 35. 240 ff., AJP 40. 175 ff. 



90 Franklin Edgerton 

to the sfere of hostil attacks that they require no discussion. 
Thus, 10. 134. 2 cd : 

adhaspaddih tarn lih krdhi yd asmdn ddidesati. 

'Put him down underfoot who aims against us.' The same or 
a closely similar locution is found 9. 52. 4 C , 10. 133. 4 ac , 1. 42. 
2 ac . Equally simple and obvious is 6. 44. 17 0d , abhisendn abhy 
ddedisdndn pdrdca indra prd mrnd jahi ca. The only remain- 
ing occurrence of a finite verb form from d-dis is 6. 56. 1 : 
yd enam ddidesati karambhdd iti pusdnam, nd Una devd adise. 
In the light of the otherwise universal use of the verb, it seems 
to me clear that it should be understood here too in a hostil sense. 
I therefore would render, nearly (tho not precisely) with Both, 
Grassmann, and Oldenberg (Noten, on 9. 21. 5), and at variance 
with Fay (who follows Ludwig essentially), 'He who aims 
(malignantly) at Pusan, saying "he is a porridge-eater (hind, 
weakling) " — the god is not a mark for him (literally, not is the 
god for aiming at by him).' Aside from the superior consist- 
ency with other occurrences of the verb, we hereby avoid the 
bold assumption of an understood anydh, which Ludwig and 
Fay ar compeld to make. What parallel is there for the omis- 
sion of any a in such a case? In other words, how can nd . . . 
devdh mean 'no other god'? It means nearly the opposit of 
that: 'not the god (just mentioned).' It is mere casuistry for 
Ludwig to refer to 1. 140. 11 priydd . . . preyo, ' dearer than a 
dear one'; obviously this is not in the least parallel. 

The noun ddis, naturally, follows the verb in usage. In addi- 
tion to the passages alredy quoted, it occurs in 8. 60. 12 ab : yena 
vdnsdma pftandsu sdrdhatas tdranto aryd adisah. Again the 
sfere is conflict {pftandsu) ; 'crossing over (escaping) the aims 
of the foe.' On the difficult, and pretty certainly corrupt, 
passage 6. 4. 5 see Oldenberg, places quoted. Oldenberg is evi- 
dently not prejudist in favor of the view I hold, for he specifi- 
cally refers to 8. 93. 11 as showing ddis without hostil meaning. 
Yet he holds, I think rightly, that in 6. 4. 5 (as wel as in 8. 92. 
31, for which see his note on that passage in Bgveda Noten) it 
refers to 'feindliche Anschlage'; the fraseology of the passage 
(turydma, cf. tdranto 8. 60. 12, drdtir, etc.) bears this out, what- 
ever may be the tru reading and interpretation of the text. 
The passage 8. 93. 11, which Oldenberg seems to think shows 



Studies in the Veda 91 

adisam in a different sense, is ineonelusiv, and can as easily be 
interpreted in my way as in any other : ydsya te nU cid adisam 
nd mindnti svardjyam, nd devd nddhrigur jdndh. 'Verily they 
do not at all obstruct (impede) thy aim, thy imperium.' Of 
course there is nothing in the context which definitly proves 
that Indra's 'aim' is directed against his enemies; yet it would 
be only his enemies that would wish to 'obstruct' it, and Indra's 
general caracter, as wel as the usual meaning of ddis (not to 
speak of svardjyam, parallel to it) suggest this. 

In two or three passages an ddis is attributed to Soma. It 
occurs twice in the consecutiv stanzas 9. 21. 5 and 6, in closely 
parallel locutions : 

dsmin pisdngam indavo dddhdtd vendm adise, 

yd asmdbhyam drdvd. 5. 

rbhur nd rdthyam ndvam dddhdtd ketam adise, 

sukrdh pavadhvam drnasd. 6. 

The key to ddise is yd asmdbhyam drdvd. The soma-drops ar to 
fix their vend ' for aiming at him who is stingy towards us. ' In 
the next stanza pada b is repeated with keta for vend; obviously 
5° is to be understood also with 6 b . Oldenberg (Noten) seems 
to me wrong on these stanzas, tho he is right to the extent of tak- 
ing ddise in a hostil sense. It seems to me that both pisdnga 
vend and keta must pertain to the soma, not to the stingy man 
(proleptically). The locativ asmin causes no difficulty; it 
depends in sense, at least, on ddise (perhaps also in literal con- 
struction, since we need not expect with the verbal noun the 
accusativ which would be found with a finite verb-form of d-dis; 
but it may also depend on d-dhd, 'fix . . . upon him for aim- 
ing' = 'fix for aiming at him'). The exact meaning of vend in 
this place is a problem which I hav not solvd to my own satis- 
faction; keta at least is clearly 'purpose, Absicht,' nearly 
synonymous with ddis except that the latter is distinctly a hostil 
word ; and I incline to the opinion that vend, which exchanges 
with keta in these two stanzas, is to be taken in som sense which 
amounts to the same thing in the final outcom. 

The sound of the soma is durdadisam in 1. 139. 10 ; the context 
is colorless and givs no clue to the meaning; 'aiming afar off' 
fits as wel as any other meaning. 

I com finally to the last occurrence of ddis, which Professor 



92 Franklin Edgerton 

Fay might hav quoted against me, since it is the one and only 
occurrence of a derivativ of this root in the entire Bigveda 
which, taken by itself, might plausibly be interpreted in the 
sense of ' salutation ' or the like. It is 6. 48. 14 : 

turn va indram nd sukrdtum varunam iva mdyinam 
aryamdnam nd mandrdm srprdbhojasam visnum nd stusa 

adise. 

Pusan is praised, and is declared to be like unto various other 
gods in their special sferes. Simple as the language of the 
stanza seems at first sight, there ar difficulties about it. For 
instance, we need a qualifying epithet to go with visnum nd in 
pada d. It is very lame to translate with Grassmann 'den 
meinend preis' wie Vischnu ich'; for nd implies that Pusan is 
' (so-and-so) like Visnu,' just as he is 'powerful like Indra' etc. 
Ludwig sees this and construes srprdbhojasam, in the preceding 
pada, with visnum nd. The pada division and the order of 
words ar against this, tho I regard it as superior to Grassmann 's 
rendering. But is it not at least possible that adise is the com- 
plement to visnum nd — 'like Visnu for aiming (against ene- 
mies?)'? It is tru that, so far as I am able to discover, the 
Vedic accounts of Visnu furnish no clue for explaining this as 
particularly appropriate to Visnu. But the Rigveda tells us so 
little about Visnu anyhow, that we can not be sure that there 
may not be som allusion here to a feature of the god not. other- 
wise made clear. — If, however, this is not acceptable, then 
Ludwig 's interpretation of the passage is clearly the right one. 
Ludwig renders adise 'fur meine Absicht,' and the like is 
implied by Grassmann 's 'den meinend.' Barring the possibility 
(which I freely admit is only a possibility) that my new inter- 
pretation is correct, we should hav in adise at this point one 
clear case of the meaning 'aim' without hostil intent. There 
would, after all, be nothing very startling in this; it is not a 
very remote departure from the customary (and I believ other- 
wise universal) meaning of the word. It would stil be a very 
far cry to 'salutation,' which, as I said, might be conjectured for 
this passage if we knew nothing about the word otherwise, but 
which, in view of its constant occurrence in a very different 
sense, can surely not be adopted here. No interpreter, so far as 
I kno, has adopted it ; not even Ludwig, altho in his interpreta- 
tion of 6. 56. 1 he corns quite close to Professor Fay's idea.