Sanskrit: Apanudyāt (Bhagavad Gīta 2.8.)

MindBoggle

Senior Member
Danish. English from childhood
Hi guys. :)

Reading the Gīta, I'm having some trouble with the word apanudyāt in 2.8.
It's clear what it must mean - apa + nud should be push away, which makes sense, but the form is puzzling me a bit.
I'm thinking it might be a precative? That's a rare form, though, so I'm not sure.
Can anybody confirm this? Or offer a better interpretation.

If it is a precative, the translation (I think) should be:

Nothing I see may push away from me that burning drying-out of my indriyas.

By the way...
Does anybody know of a book (or a website) that not only translates the Gīta but also comments on the grammar (in some European language - I know of several commentaries in Sanskrit, but I'm not quite ready for that yet)?

Best regards
MindBoggle
 
  • MindBoggle

    Senior Member
    Danish. English from childhood

    Thank you for the link, but this site offers no help with the analysis. I have six translations already (all different, by the way). What I need is something like this: https://archive.org/details/firstbookofhitop00ml.
    Müller gives morphological analysis of every word, vigraha of every compound, AND a translation. Now, THAT is useful. :thumbsup:

    If something similar exists for the Gīta, I would love to know where. :D

    Best regards
    MindBoggle
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    apanudyāt (3rd. sing. optative act. apa prefixed to the root nud).it should remove, it should take away, it should dispel.
    "I do not see what will dispel"
    The above is from The Bhagavad Gita by Winthrop Sargeant, published by State University of New York. This work gives for every word in the Gita, besides the translation, a grammatical analysis, a stupendous effort.:)
     
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    MindBoggle

    Senior Member
    Danish. English from childhood
    apanudyāt (3rd. sing. optative act. apa prefixed to the root nud).it should remove, it should take away, it should dispel.
    "I do not see what will dispel"
    The above is from The Bhagavad Gita by Winthrop Sargeant, published by State University of New York. This work gives for every word in the Gita, besides the translation, a grammatical analysis, a stupendous effort.:)

    Thank you, that is very kind! :)

    I will get that book.

    Best
    MindBoggle
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Hi guys. :)

    Reading the Gīta, I'm having some trouble with the word apanudyāt in 2.8.
    It's clear what it must mean - apa + nud should be push away, which makes sense, but the form is puzzling me a bit.
    I'm thinking it might be a precative? That's a rare form, though, so I'm not sure.
    apanudyāt (3rd. sing. optative act. apa prefixed to the root nud).it should remove, it should take away, it should dispel.
    "I do not see what will dispel"
    The above is from The Bhagavad Gita by Winthrop Sargeant, published by State University of New York. This work gives for every word in the Gita, besides the translation, a grammatical analysis, a stupendous effort.:)

    I personally prefer the precative - speaking purely about the form. It seems nud- is exclusively a class VI (tudaadi) verb. So, optative should be regularly "nudet".

    If it is a precative, the translation (I think) should be:

    Nothing I see may push away from me that burning drying-out of my indriyas.

    Meaningwise, however, I'd expect a normal optative in this case. Maybe the precative was used here simply as a poetic alternative to the optative without any intended difference of nuance. Or maybe there is a difference of nuance, that we are missing?
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Meaningwise, however, I'd expect a normal optative in this case. Maybe the precative was used here simply as a poetic alternative to the optative without any intended difference of nuance.

    I came across this in Whitney today which supports my earlier statement (Section 573.c, p. 215):
    "The so-called precative forms ... are ordinarily used in the proper optative sense*. But in the later language they are occasionally met with in the other uses of the optative**: thus, na hi prapaśyāmi mamā'panudyād yacchokam (Bh. G.)"

    *Proper optative sense: desire, wish.
    **optative: the Sanskrit verb form called optative, which also expresses prescription, possibility, etc.

    I have also updated Whitney's transliteration of Sanskrit into IAST here.
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I came across this in Whitney today which supports my earlier statement (Section 573.c, p. 215):
    "The so-called precative forms ... are ordinarily used in the proper optative sense*. But in the later language they are occasionally met with in the other uses of the optative**: thus, na hi prapaśyāmi mamā'panudyād yacchokam (Bh. G.)"

    *Proper optative sense: desire, wish.
    **optative: the Sanskrit verb form called optative, which also expresses prescription, possibility, etc.

    I have also updated Whitney's transliteration of Sanskrit into IAST here.
    Dib Jii, this is a serendipitous find!
    Your translation: "nothing I see may push away..." and Sargeant's "I do not see what will dispel..." mean the same thing, don't you think?:)
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Your translation: "nothing I see may push away..." and Sargeant's "I do not see what will dispel..." mean the same thing, don't you think?:)

    That was actually MindBoggle's translation. :p
    I didn't offer any translation of my own because I found Sargeant's reasonable, and I wasn't completely sure what to make of the unexpected precative. I only objected to Sargeant's grammatical gloss calling the form optative.
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I didn't offer any translation of my own because I found Sargeant's reasonable, and I wasn't completely sure what to make of the unexpected precative. I only objected to Sargeant's grammatical gloss calling the form optative.
    The use of the precative (आशीर्लिङ्) is expressed with great clarity by Pushpa Dikshit, in her Astadhyayi Sahajabodha, vol.2:
    आशीः का अर्थ होता है -अप्राप्त को पाने की इच्छा ... यथा, आयुष्यं भूयात् ; शत्रुः म्रियात्। अतः दोनों में आशीर्लिङ् लकार का प्रयोग होता है, केवल सदिच्छा में ही नहीं।
    [आशीः means the desire to obtain what has not been obtained... e.g. आयुष्यं भूयात्; शत्रुः म्रियात्. So in both instances precative (आशीर्लिङ् लकार) is used, not just for expressing a good wish]:D
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    The use of the precative (आशीर्लिङ्) is expressed with great clarity by Pushpa Dikshit, in her Astadhyayi Sahajabodha, vol.2:
    आशीः का अर्थ होता है -अप्राप्त को पाने की इच्छा ... यथा, आयुष्यं भूयात् ; शत्रुः म्रियात्। अतः दोनों में आशीर्लिङ् लकार का प्रयोग होता है, केवल सदिच्छा में ही नहीं।
    [आशीः means the desire to obtain what has not been obtained... e.g. आयुष्यं भूयात्; शत्रुः म्रियात्. So in both instances precative (आशीर्लिङ् लकार) is used, not just for expressing a good wish]:D

    Yes. That is also exactly what Whitney means by "The so-called precative forms ... are ordinarily used in the proper optative sense." So, both sources are in agreement there. But the particular usage in question - "na hi prapaśyāmi mamā'panudyād yacchokam" - cannot be explained by that. That is why I found the precative a bit wierd here. From the context it is clear that the intended meaning is that of "what should/could dispel" - in the realm of "ability", a function normally covered by the optative form. Indeed, I doubt precative is normal in subordinate clauses, while optative is very common in that syntactic context. That's where the additional information supplied by Whitney, that in late Sanskrit precative was sometimes used also in other functions than आशीः (= proper optative sense), is significant. At least, I wasn't aware of it (though in this particular case, I had been able to guess it from the context).

    Another thing to keep in mind. Traditional Sanskrit grammar has referred to both precative and optative forms as simply लिङ्, and the precative form has occasionally been referred to also in Western sources as the "optative mood of the aorist system", especially in context of Vedic grammar. So, it is plausible that Sargeat simply didn't distinguish between precative and optative in his terminology. Could you check whether he has any note about this?
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes. That is also exactly what Whitney means by "The so-called precative forms ... are ordinarily used in the proper optative sense." So, both sources are in agreement there. But the particular usage in question - "na hi prapaśyāmi mamā'panudyād yacchokam" - cannot be explained by that. That is why I found the precative a bit wierd here. From the context it is clear that the intended meaning is that of "what should/could dispel" - in the realm of "ability", a function normally covered by the optative form. Indeed, I doubt precative is normal in subordinate clauses, while optative is very common in that syntactic context. That's where the additional information supplied by Whitney, that in late Sanskrit precative was sometimes used also in other functions than आशीः (= proper optative sense), is significant. At least, I wasn't aware of it (though in this particular case, I had been able to guess it from the context).

    Another thing to keep in mind. Traditional Sanskrit grammar has referred to both precative and optative forms as simply लिङ्, and the precative form has occasionally been referred to also in Western sources as the "optative mood of the aorist system", especially in context of Vedic grammar. So, it is plausible that Sargeat simply didn't distinguish between precative and optative in his terminology. Could you check whether he has any note about this?
    According to Whitney the precative occurs just once in the Bhagavad Gita. Assuming he may be right, then apanudyāt would be that sole occurrence. But Sargeant does not mention precative in his introductory write-up, he only mentions optative along with the other verb forms. So, careful as he was in every respect, he seems to have glossed over this!
    I should think that precative is used here in the sense of अप्राप्त को प्राप्त करने की इच्छा, wishing for the unobtainable. The Sanskrit term आशीर्लिङ् is much clearer when the meaning of आशीः is kept in mind than the rather dense "optative mood of the Aorist system". The Astadhyayi sutra विधिनिमन्त्रणामन्त्रणाधीष्टसंप्रश्नप्रार्थनेषु लिङ् । (3.3.161) gives the specific contexts of विधिलिङ्. So I think each of these, optative and precative, may more specifically apply according to what one wants to express. Here, in my opinion, the precative makes perfect sense.:)
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    ... the rather dense "optative mood of the Aorist system".

    Yes, and it is also not totally accurate. Vedic also has some genuine optative forms of the aorist system, which differ from what is called precative, e.g. McDonell gives "deyām" as aorist optative active 1st singular of dā-. Corresponding precative would be "deyāsam". But the precative probably has its origin in the optative of sigmatic aorist. That seems likely.

    So I think each of these, optative and precative, may more specifically apply according to what one wants to express. Here, in my opinion, the precative makes perfect sense.:)

    It may well be so. But personally I still find precative in subordinate clause unusual. However, I admit, I have probably never come across enough precative forms in the wild to have a secure linguistic intuition about it (it is very rare in Classical Sanskrit as MindBoggle mentioned in the opening post). So, I checked McDonell's Vedic grammar to see if my intuition had any substance to it. Turns out, he categorically states that in the Rgveda and Atharvaveda, the precatives occur exclusively in principal clauses, and says nothing about the other Veda Samhitas. Even by the age of Brahmanas, he mentions, the precative was already almost limited to quotations and their paraphrases. No wonder, they became so rare in classical Sanskrit. (Ref: "A Vedic Grammar for Students" - A. A. MacDonell, section 217, p. 367)

    Of course, Classical Sanskrit is different from Vedic Sanskrit. But precative is so rare in Cl. Skt. that I feel like I am splitting hairs in continuing to analyse those rare occurrences.
     
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