Sanskrit: añjalim

rickymut

Member
Chinese
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The quote above is from vajracchedikā nāma triśatikā prajñāpāramitā。I roughly know the meaning and the function of every word of the sentence except one "añjalim". I don't know why it take as the acc. case which means it's the object, then which verb should govern it? At least the verb should be a transitive, "praNamya" here means bow down, salute? If it's the case, it would be an intransitive, then how can it take an object? I am confused about it. However I find one useful message on one online Sanskrit-English dictionary:1 To bow down, salute, make a low obeisance to, be humble (with acc. or dative);......It seems that the word may take acc. I am not sure of it. Could you help me confirm it and further explain the usage. Thanks a lot!
 
  • Panditammanya

    New Member
    English - USA, Tamil
    Thanks for all these interesting questions :) I've never seen this usage before so I can only offer hypotheses. First, in general it's quite common in Sanskrit for nouns in the accusative to behave as adverbs. I found a reference (http://sangharajamcbs.com/sites/archive/richard014.pdf) which discusses this phenomenon in more detail with examples. More specifically, the case you're asking about reminds me of type of construction called a "cognate object," which occurs in many languages, including English. In this construction, a normally intransitive verb can take an object that refers to the action described by the verb. For instance, in the sentence "I slept a good sleep last night," the phrase "a good sleep" is acting as a cognate object for the normally intransitive verb "sleep." I'm tempted to interpret "añjalim" here as behaving similarly with respect to the verb praṇamya.

    Maybe experts (@Dib?) can offer more insight?
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    I roughly know the meaning and the function of every word of the sentence except one "añjalim". I don't know why it take as the acc. case which means it's the object, then which verb should govern it? At least the verb should be a transitive, "praNamya" here means bow down, salute? If it's the case, it would be an intransitive, then how can it take an object? I am confused about it. However I find one useful message on one online Sanskrit-English dictionary:1 To bow down, salute, make a low obeisance to, be humble (with acc. or dative);......It seems that the word may take acc. I am not sure of it. Could you help me confirm it and further explain the usage. Thanks a lot!

    I guess, you are quoting Apte's dictionary here. But the accusative and the dative specified there are really taken by the person or object of obeisance, as the first two examples there show. I don't think this is the solution to the matter at hand. Not to claim that "añjalim" is necessarily unclassical here, in Classical Sanskrit, according to my experience, I'd rather expect "prāñjali(ḥ)" instead. Maybe this is another of the BHS usages, that Panditammanya mentioned earlier. In this specific case, however, I could not find anything relevant in Edgerton, that I gave a link to earlier.
     

    rickymut

    Member
    Chinese
    Thank both of you for your continuous help!

    @Panditammanya: your opinion is very inspiring, coincidentally there're several Chinese versions of translation all of which took as an adverb one of the two words "añjaliṃ praṇamya", however not the first one, but the second. The famous Chinese translators in old times always paraphrased the very difficult or confusing part, here the Chinese version in English is: hold hands respecfully. strictly grammatically speaking, it might not correct. As for the idea of "cognate object", it seems it might not match here. the first one means hold hands, the second means bow down, you know I am just a beginner in Sanskrit, you may ignore my nonsense...

    @Dib: Yes, it would be like "bow oneself down, be humbled, humble oneself...." if the word takes an acc. or dat. Here "añjalim" is not fit.
     

    rickymut

    Member
    Chinese
    @Dib: Yes, you are right. That's Apte's dictionary. And could you do me a favour to recommend some useful dictionaries and books on Sanskrit? English annotated version of reading materials would be the best. Thanks.
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    @Panditammanya Thank you for your kindness, but I am far from an expert. Hopefully, one day ... :)

    @rickymut Apte is quite good. I also use it. I also use Monier-Williams, which is often more exhaustive, especially in matters Vedic, but it may also be somewhat confusing at times.

    -------

    By the way, I now have a better solution to the problem of añjalim. I think it is possible that "praNamya" here is not directly from "pra-nam-" (to bow down) but rather its causative "pra-nam-aya-" (to bend something/someone down). Strictly speaking, the form is probably not correct according to the classical Sanskrit grammar, which would require "praNamayya" (or alternatively maybe also "praNAmya" from the form "praNAmayati"), but it is probably not impossible in BHS. In that case, it would simply mean: "having bent down his folded hand."
     

    rickymut

    Member
    Chinese
    Yes, Monier-Williams confused me sometimes. I don't know the meaning of those various icons. There's a guidebook which details the usage of it. but now I have no time to touch it.

    Your analysis makes sense. You are not alone in thinking so. I happened to come across the similar translation on a book today.
     
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