Saturday, December 27, 2014

BUDDHACARITA 13.23: [Doubtful Verse]

¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−¦¦−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−−   Upajāti (Sālā)
tāla-pramāṇāś ca ghīta-śūlā daṁṣṭrā-karālāś ca śiśu-pramāṇāḥ |
urabhra-vaktrāś ca vihaṁgamākṣā mārjāra-vaktrāś ca manuṣya-kāyāḥ || 13.23

Having the stature of palm-trees, while grasping stakes,

Or the stature of children, 
with mouths open wide and teeth sticking out;

Or having sheep's faces and birds' eyes,

Or cats' faces and human bodies.]

EHJ suspects this verse is spurious, especially in view of the lack of Chinese translation.

In a footnote to his translation of verse 19, EHJ says of the present series of six verses (from BC13.19 to 24): “C translates all the verses very fully except 23, which it omits entirely, and I have little doubt that this verse is spurious.”

There is nothing in the verse that I can find to contradict EHJ's conclusion.

tāla-pramāṇāḥ (nom. pl. m.): as tall as palm trees
tāla: m. the palmyra tree or fan-palm
pramāṇa: n. measure , scale , standard
ca: and
gṛhīta-śūlāḥ (nom. pl. m.): grasping stakes
gṛhīta: mfn. ( √grah) grasped , taken , seized , caught , held , laid hold of
śūla: mn. a sharp iron pin or stake , spike , spit (on which meat is roasted) ; any sharp instrument or pointed dart , lance , pike , spear (esp. the trident of śiva) ; a stake for impaling criminals

daṁṣṭrā-karālāḥ (nom. pl. m.): mfn. having terrible tusks
karāla: mfn. opening wide , cleaving asunder , gaping (as a wound) ; having a gaping mouth and projecting teeth ; formidable , dreadful , terrible
ca: and
śiśu-pramāṇāḥ (nom. pl. m.): as short as children
śiśu: m. a child , infant , the young of any animal

urabhra-vaktrāḥ (nom. pl. m.): with faces of sheep
urabhra: m. a ram , sheep
ca: and
vihaṁgamākṣāḥ (nom. pl. m.): with eyes of birds
vihaṁgama: mfn. moving in the sky , flying ; m. a bird

mārjāra-vaktrāḥ (nom. pl. m.): with faces of cats
mārjāra: m. a cat (prob. so called from its habit of constantly cleaning itself) ; a wild-cat
ca: and
manuṣya-kāyāḥ (nom. pl. m.): with bodies of human beings

[No corresponding Chinese translation] 

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