Sanskrit: एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by LuckyUK, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. LuckyUK New Member

    English- England
    First of all thank you guys in advance for taking the time to read this post, basically I came across something in the Vedas which I thought was beautifully said. I wanted this in Sanskrit form which I think I have found. Could somebody possibly tell me what the image says and whether it is written properly. Thanks again

    Attached Files:

  2. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Welcome to the forum, LuckyUK.

    The image you've attached looks nice and has a nice font but it is not spelt properly. The meaning is though clear but the words are written separately, i.e. they are not subjected to the rules one aspect of Sanskrit grammar which is saMdhi.

    You've mentioned that you thought it was beautifully said so I assume you are familiar with the meaning. If so, please share the one you know so that I or someone else can possibly indicate some corrections, if needed.

    In the meanwhile, here is the correct form of this quotation:

    एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति
    ekaM sadvipraa bahudhaa vadanti

    while in the picture you've attached it is:

    एकम् सत् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति
    ekam sat vipraa bahudhaa vadanti

    This much for now.
  3. LuckyUK New Member

    English- England

    Hi Marrish,

    your help is much appreciated, The english transaltion i was originally introduced to was "Truth is One, though the Sages know it as Many." its from this I found the Sanskrit form. I noticed the difference in two was "sat vipraa" and "sadvipraa", I guess my next question is how much does this change the meaning or which one is grammatically correct, as i have also come across the version the variant you have kindly posted . Again thank you for your time and help.
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I hope you won't mind the red highlights....

    There is another difference apart from sat+vipraa=sadvipraa, in your version एकम् ekam, in mine एकं ekaM. The one I posted is correct although there is no change to the meaning, it being ''that which exists (the truth/God) is one, the sages/priests/learned ones call it by various names''. It is a matter of phonetics. If you wish to take a breath after ekaM sat, then this will not happen (dv), however I believe the original is as in my post.
  5. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    Hello LuckyUK, hi Marrish,

    Your quote does appear in the Vedas, it is found in Ṛg Veda 1.164.46. The full verse as it appears in the Ṛg Veda is given below (complete with the Vedic accent):

    इन्द्रं॑ मि॒त्रं वरु॑णम॒ग्निमा॑हु॒रथो॑ दि॒व्यः स सु॑प॒र्णो ग॒रुत्मा॑न् ।
    एकं॒ सद्विप्रा॑ बहु॒धा व॑दन्त्य॒ग्निं य॒मं मा॑त॒रिश्वा॑नमाहुः ॥४६॥

    The rest of Ṛg Veda 1 is available online, in fact sanskritweb has a lovely .pdf copy of the Ṛg Veda in a very professional font, if you want to see what that verse would more likely have looked like when written down. Anyway, the transliteration is (according to the Western system):

    46. Índraṃ mitráṃ váruṇam agním āhur átho divyáḥ sá suparṇó garútmān;
    Ékaṃ sád víprā bahudhā́ vadanty agníṃ yamáṃ mātaríśvānam āhuḥ.

    The translation of the verse that I would give is:

    46. They called him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni; yea, he is heavenly Garuḍa, who has beautiful wings.
    That which is One, the sages speak of as Multifarious; they called him Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan.

    Wikisource has a complete translation of Ṛg Veda 1.164 if you're interested.

    Given the context of the rest of the verse I think it's pretty clear that ékaṃ (One) refers to god (Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, Garuḍa, Yama and Mātariśvan are all Vedic gods) and this verse is more about god, than about Truth, but I am not a scholar of the Vedas, so perhaps it's open to interpretation. I am aware from what I came across when looking up this verse that it comes up very often in debates about monotheism (and, I think a little more accurately, monolatrism) in Hinduism and it is more generally, I think, thought to be about god.

    Apart from that I just want to second what Marrish has said, his corrections, explanations and translations are - as far as I can see - perfect.

    To add to what Marrish has said, though, there are two things that we needed to correct in the original. The first of these is saṃdhi, which Marrish has already spoken about. As he says it is really just phonology, very many languages have Saṃdhi or something similar to it. In Sanskrit the rules get very complicated, but - at heart - they are merely rules of pronunciation. When you speak English, you know that we can express the plural with a sound (as in cake-s) a [z] sound (as in road-s) or the sound [ɨz] (as in rose-s). The reason why we have in some sounds and [z] in others is that the rules of English pronunciation tell us that we can't have the voiced sound [z] ('voiced' means that our vocal chords vibrate when we pronounce the sound) coming after a voiceless sound such as [k] or [p] (e.g. lap-s). There is a similar rule in Sanskrit which says that you can't have the voiceless sound t coming before the voiced sound v (as in sát víprā, which is what you would have without saṃdhi) instead we get the voiced sound d.

    The second is purely a matter of orthography, when writing Sanskrit in Devanagari, the convention says that any words that can be written together must be written together. In other words, you only use a space when you have to. Unlike English, where all words are separated by spaces, it is possible to have an entire line of a śloka written all together. This is why we have सद्विप्रा॑ not सद् विप्रा॑. You may have noticed that western transliteration conventions do not observe this convention, instead choosing to separate the words, as I have done above.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  6. rc2 Member

    India - Telugu
    I am late to this thread -- but this got me wondering if there was a decent site with transliterations and translations in English along with the original verse. I would appreciate any pointers to online resources in this regard.

    Thanks in advance,
  7. LuckyUK New Member

    English- England

    I appreciate the time you and Marrish have dedicated into answering my question, it goes without saying both of you have been very helpful.

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