Sanskrit: भागवतपुराणम् । १२ । २ । २७ – २८ ।।

Kobzar

Member
Spanish - Spain
Hello, everybody!
I am translating भागवतपुराणम् । १२ । २, and I have some doubts about the श्लोकास् २७ – २८, especially about the last verse of the śloka no. 28. In http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/corpustei/transformations/html/sa_bhAgavatapurANa.htm, I read:
सप्तर्षीणां तु यौ पूर्वौ दृश्येते उदितौ दिवि ।
तायोस्तु मध्ये नक्षत्रं दृश्यते यत्समं निशि ।। २७ ।।
तेनैव ऋषयो युक्तास् तिष्ठन्त्यबदशतं नृणाम् ।
ते त्वदीये द्विजाः काल अधुना चाश्रिता मघाः ।। २८ ।।
My tentative translation of the three first lines is:
"The seers (ऋषयस्) remain (तिष्ठन्ति) attached (युक्तास्) for a century (अब्दशतम्) of the humans (नृणाम्), with that (तेन) star (नक्षत्रं) which (यत्) always (समम्) is seen (दृश्यते) at midnight (मध्ये निशि), of those two (तयोस्) which (यौ) are announced (उदितौ) to be seen (दृश्येते) in the sky (दिवि) the first ones (पूर्वौ) of the Seven Seers (सप्तर्षीणाम्)."
I admit that दृश्येते दितौ may be translated as "are seen to be above", but my problems are in the fourth line. My tentative translation is as follows:
"Now (अधुना) in your (त्वदीये) time (काल), those (ते) twice-born (द्विजास्) are the Maghās (मघास्), in which you seek refuge (आश्रिता = आश्रितास् between initial voiced consonant of the following word)."
My doubts refer, first of all, to the form काल, which seem to be equivalent to काले (locative singular of काल, "time"), before a word beginning with vowel; but, that vowel being अ (अधुना), I think that the regular form should be "काले ऽधुना," which would be against meter. In addition, I am not sure about the meaning of आश्रितास्, which I have provisorily translated as "in which you seek refuge." The English translations available at Srimad Bhagavatam: Canto 12 - Chapter 2 and at Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 12 Chapter 2 simply skip that word; otherwise, they paraphrase the text and include terms that are not present in the original, and that should rather be included in footnotes.
Otherwise, I am assuming that द्विजाः ("twice born," usually applied to the brahmans) is referred here to the ऋषयः, who were thought to have been metamorphosed into the stars of the Great Bear, called "सप्तर्षयः" ("the Seven Seers") in ancient India and whom the passage deals with. Am I right?
Thank you very much in advance!
Best wishes!
 
  • A good translation of this requires some knowledge of astronomy, and as an astronomical ignoramus I will not produce a translation. Having read the two online translations, and that of G. V. Tagare, I think they are all rather to the point. Consulting the commentaries would be a good thing to do for the astronomical references. Some small points:

    pūrvau uditau. I suggest first risen.

    tayos tu madhye. It is irregular to take madhye as a qualifier of niśi. As the well-known nyāya goes, "If I hear the sound of hoofs I donʼt expect zebras". A construction like tayos tu madhye should be expected to mean in the middle of those two, or out of those two.

    kāla adhunā. Metri causa alterations like this are not unheard of, but one would expect kāle adhunā. Indeed, that is the reading of my edition (J. L. Shastri, 1983).

    āśritāḥ. You say that the word is skipped in the two online translations, but as far as I can see they both translate it by situated. I donʼt understand your provisory translation here. I suggest (translating "verbatim") that they, the twice-born (the seven ṛṣis) are situated as Maghās. Wrong, see below.
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    My doubts refer, first of all, to the form काल, which seem to be equivalent to काले (locative singular of काल, "time"), before a word beginning with vowel; but, that vowel being अ (अधुना), I think that the regular form should be "काले ऽधुना," which would be against meter.
    कालेऽधुना, कालयधुना and काल अधुना - all three would be valid and common alternatives.

    In addition, I am not sure about the meaning of आश्रितास्, which I have provisorily translated as "in which you seek refuge."
    The usual meaning of the root आ-श्रि is "to take refuge in". Its syntax works like that of the verbs of motion (e.g. गम्), i.e. the goal of the action (where you take refuge) apears in the accusative, and the participle आश्रित usually refers to the person who has taken refuge (Cf. गत). In the current verse, मघाः - accusative plural of मघा - is where they have taken refuge. So, the last half-verse simply means: "And they have currently taken refuge in the Maghā (the name of a star, also used in the plural)." This is the basic literal meaning, but as Den falska sköldpaddan has observed, the exact interpretation would require some knowledge of astronomy which I lack.

    Also note: उद्-इ = to rise, is the usual word used for the rise of a heavely body, and अस्तम्-इ is used for their setting.

    Anyway, I have deliberately not looked into any translation yet. My astronomy-ignorant literal understanding of these two verses is the following: The star between the two saptarṣi stars that appear either first or in the east at night remains the same for 100 years. That star was Maghā at the time of the narration. This assumes that "तेन युक्ताः तिष्ठन्ति" in the third half-verse and "(तत्/ताः) आश्रिताः (तिष्ठन्ति)" in the fourth basically mean the same thing in the astronomical context. However, this is just a guess on my part.
     
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    The usual meaning of the root आ-श्रि is "to take refuge in". Its syntax works like that of the verbs of motion (e.g. गम्), i.e. the goal of the action (where you take refuge) apears in the accusative, and the participle आश्रित usually refers to the person who has taken refuge (Cf. गत). In the current verse, मघाः - accusative plural of मघा - is where they have taken refuge. So, the last half-verse simply means: "And they have currently taken refuge in the Maghā (the name of a star, also used in the plural)."
    āśritāḥ. I was wrong and this is clearly correct—maghāḥ is accusative and thus the direct object of āśritāḥ. The twice-born (the seven ṛṣis) have taken recource to the nakṣatra of Maghā/Maghāḥ, i. e., they are situated in it.
     
    • Agree
    Reactions: Dib

    Kobzar

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    āśritāḥ. I was wrong and this is clearly correct—maghāḥ is accusative and thus the direct object of āśritāḥ. The twice-born (the seven ṛṣis) have taken recource to the nakṣatra of Maghā/Maghāḥ, i. e., they are situated in i
    A good translation of this requires some knowledge of astronomy, and as an astronomical ignoramus I will not produce a translation. Having read the two online translations, and that of G. V. Tagare, I think they are all rather to the point. Consulting the commentaries would be a good thing to do for the astronomical references. Some small points:

    pūrvau uditau. I suggest first risen.

    tayos tu madhye. It is irregular to take madhye as a qualifier of niśi. As the well-known nyāya goes, "If I hear the sound of hoofs I donʼt expect zebras". A construction like tayos tu madhye should be expected to mean in the middle of those two, or out of those two.

    kāla adhunā. Metri causa alterations like this are not unheard of, but one would expect kāle adhunā. Indeed, that is the reading of my edition (J. L. Shastri, 1983).

    āśritāḥ. You say that the word is skipped in the two online translations, but as far as I can see they both translate it by situated. I donʼt understand your provisory translation here. I suggest (translating "verbatim") that they, the twice-born (the seven ṛṣis) are situated as Maghās. Wrong, see below.
    Thank you very much for everything! Could you please recommend any commentary to this work?
     

    Kobzar

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    कालेऽधुना, कालयधुना and काल अधुना - all three would be valid and common alternatives.


    The usual meaning of the root आ-श्रि is "to take refuge in". Its syntax works like that of the verbs of motion (e.g. गम्), i.e. the goal of the action (where you take refuge) apears in the accusative, and the participle आश्रित usually refers to the person who has taken refuge (Cf. गत). In the current verse, मघाः - accusative plural of मघा - is where they have taken refuge. So, the last half-verse simply means: "And they have currently taken refuge in the Maghā (the name of a star, also used in the plural)." This is the basic literal meaning, but as Den falska sköldpaddan has observed, the exact interpretation would require some knowledge of astronomy which I lack.

    Also note: उद्-इ = to rise, is the usual word used for the rise of a heavely body, and अस्तम्-इ is used for their setting.

    Anyway, I have deliberately not looked into any translation yet. My astronomy-ignorant literal understanding of these two verses is the following: The star between the two saptarṣi stars that appear either first or in the east at night remains the same for 100 years. That star was Maghā at the time of the narration. This assumes that "तेन युक्ताः तिष्ठन्ति" in the third half-verse and "(तत्/ताः) आश्रिताः (तिष्ठन्ति)" in the fourth basically mean the same thing in the astronomical context. However, this is just a guess on my part.
    Thank you very much for everything! Although it may be your guess, as you say, it makes sense.
     
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