sanskrit: दातु

MindBoggle

Senior Member
Danish. English from childhood
Hello again! :)

My book has:

ईश्वरोऽज्ञानं मे दातु ज्ञानं च मे ददातु ।

I don't understand the form दातु. If it was ददातु in stead it would be easy (if a bit odd): "Let the Lord give me ignorance and wisdom." But what is दातु? It doesn't look like a [finite] form of दा, but it might be some nominalization? Looking it up, I get 'share' (and similar meanings).

Alright: "The Lord, ignorance my lot, wisdom and to me let-Him-give", which is to say: "ignorance my lot, let the Lord give me wisdom."

It makes sense, but I still have the feeling that something is wrong.

What do you all think?

Regards,
MindBoggle
 
  • Au101

    Senior Member
    England, English (UK)
    You're very unfortunate because this seems to me to be quite a nasty sentence.

    Here's my guess. I'm sure my good friends Dib and Marrish will correct me if I'm wrong.

    There's a root दो do- which Monier-Williams tells me is class 2 (and also class 4) and he gives the 3 sg, pres, act as दाति dāti, which would make दातु dātu the 3 sg, imp, act of that verb.

    दो do- means, apparently, "to cut, divide, reap, mow" and I think this might be the verb you're looking for here. Something like "May the lord cut down my ignorance and give me knowledge."
     

    MindBoggle

    Senior Member
    Danish. English from childhood
    There's a root दो do- which Monier-Williams tells me is class 2 (and also class 4) and he gives the 3 sg, pres, act as दाति dāti, which would make दातु dātu the 3 sg, imp, act of that verb.

    दो do- means, apparently, "to cut, divide, reap, mow" and I think this might be the verb you're looking for here. Something like "May the lord cut down my ignorance and give me knowledge."

    Of course. Thanks a lot. :)
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Yes, I agree with Au101 on both counts - his/her explanation and the statement that it is a nasty sentence. I would have to do some dictionary digging before I could solve this. I only remembered the -ya- forms for do > dyati, so > syati, sho > shyati. Of these, I feel, only ava-so is reasonablly common in classical Sanskrit. I had no idea about the "dAti" form.

    Thanks, Au101, for solving the mystery. Had I come across this in a Vedic text (where do- is apparently common), I would definitely take it as an aorist imperative of dA- (to give), and would be at the same time proud of my grasp of Vedic grammar and utterly confused by the (non-)sense. Hopefully, I'll be careful in future. :D
     
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