Re: Pali Day by Day G041 Question + Cosmic Smile
- Dear Florent, Jim and Piya
To address a few points in this discourse:
(1) Our problem related to words ferom a verse found in a cluster of
texts having the interesting story of a family of ascetics who lived
on lotus roots, how Sakka tested them by hiding the chief ascetic's
sahre and how each one plus a friendly elephant tried to show his
innocence- by making a binding declaration or sapatha. The verse
gives the elephant's sapatha, appropriate to a lover of the delights
of the forest."Let him who stole the the revered ascetic's food be
taken from the lovely forest, tied hundreds of times with ropes,and
prodded with spikes, to suffer the travails of living among human
(2) We had the question about chamhi. Other versions have chabbhi. It
was asked whether chabbhi is the right form or chahi? Actually words
for six include chahi/chabbhi, chasu/chassu. Chabbhi and chassu are
phonetic evolutions from older Indo-Aryan words .sa.dbhi.h
and .sa.t.su, whereas chahi and chasu are 'adjustments'
or 'corrections' done in order to suit the grammatical rules that
were enunciated much later, which assume stems and endings: stem cha-
must give chahi and chasu. And this theory held. So we have thousands
of such 'corrections' in the extant Pali texts. This is why some
scholars would think that Pali is an artificail language.Yet,
historical remnants of earlier more 'natural' forms are also legion.
(1b) Skt version in Jaatakamaalaa has ".sa.dbhir d.r.dhai.h paaSa-
'satai.h sa bandham", whose first word is the equivalent of sabbhi.
(2) Metre: The metre here is Indravajraa, which is a metre more
familiar in ornate poetry. In this kind of Pali text, the metres are
not perfectly followed. So we have short syllables where long ones
would be regular. Also, since verses were, in oral tradition, simply
recited, the reciter could always adjust the reading to make short
look like long. In particular the last syllable would almost always
be recited long, whether written long or not.
(3) Piya thinks we don't have -mh- in Pali. amhe, tumhe, amhaaka.m,
tumhaaka.m, tamhi, yamhi, gimha, gimhaana etc. etc.??