Nirukta1.15

अथापीदमन्तरेण मन्त्रेष्वर्थप्रत्ययो न विद्यते । अर्थमप्रतियतो नात्यन्तं स्वरसंस्कारोद्देशः । तदिदं विद्यास्थानं व्याकरणस्य कार्त्स्न्यम् स्वार्थसाधकं च ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) without this (इदम् अन्तरेण) (Nirukta), there is no (न विद्यते) understanding of the meaning of the (Vedic) mantras (मन्त्रेषु अर्थप्रत्ययः).  For one who does not understand the meaning (अर्थम् अप्रतियतः) a thorough investigation of accent and word derivation is not possible (न अत्यन्तं स्वरसंस्कारोद्देशः). Therefore this knowledge (तत् इदं विद्यास्थानम्) is a complement to grammar (व्याकरणस्य कार्त्स्न्यम्) and a means to accomplishing one’s objective (स्वार्थसाधकं च).

यदि मन्त्रार्थप्रत्ययायानर्थकं भवतीति कौत्सः । अनर्थका हि मन्त्राः । तदेतेनोपेक्षितव्यम् ।

“If this (Nirukta) is for the purpose of ascertaining the meaning of the mantras (यदि मन्त्रार्थप्रत्ययाय), then this effort is useless (अनर्थकं भवति),” says Kautsa (इति कौत्सः), “for the mantras (मन्त्राः) are meaningless (अनर्थकाः हि).” That (तत्) (opinion of Kautsa) should be examined (उपेक्षितव्यम्) by means of this (एतेन) (Nirukta).

नियतवाचो युक्तयो नियतानुपूर्व्या भवन्ति ।

( Mantras are meaningless because) the words used by them are fixed (नियतवाचः युक्तयः) and they are also in a fixed order (नियतानुपूर्व्याः भवन्ति ).

Note: Durgacārya gives the example of the mantra अग्न आ याहि वीतये (ऋ० ६.१६.१०). Here the words used are unalterable, for example विभावसो आगच्छ पानाय cannot be used even though it has the same meaning. Similarly आयाह्यग्ने (the same words in a different order) cannot be used. This is unlike common usage where the same meaning can be conveyed in many ways, for example गॊणीमभ्याज and गामभ्याज have the same meaning, as do आहर पात्रं and पात्रमाहर । Kautsa‘s reasoning is that if they are intended to convey meaning, why the insistence on a particular set of words in a particular order?

अथापि ब्राह्मणेन रूपसम्पन्ना विधीयन्ते । उरु प्रस्थस्वेति प्रथयति । प्रोहाणीति प्रोहति ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) obvious ritual instructions (रूपसम्पन्नाः) are enjoined (विधीयन्ते) by the Brāhmaṇa (ब्राह्मणेन), (for example, reciting) “Spread it wide (उरु प्रथस्व)”, he spreads (the puroḍāśa) (इति प्रथयति), (reciting) “May I move it forward (प्रोहाणि)”, he moves (the droṇakalaśa) forward (इति प्रोहति).

Note: The meaning is this: If the mantra उरु प्रथस्व conveys the meaning of the action to be performed while reciting it, what is the necessity of the Brāhmaṇa to say so? This meaning should be self evident to anyone if intended by the mantra. The same argument applies to the second sentence (प्रोहाणीति प्रोहति) or to any other injunction

अथाप्यनुपपन्नार्था भवन्ति । ओष॑धे॒ त्राय॑स्वैनम् । स्वधि॑ते॒ मैनं॑ हिंसीः इत्याह हिंसन् ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) the meanings are impossible (अनुपपन्नार्था भवन्ति). (For example), “O Herb (ओषधे)! Protect this (tree) (एनं त्रायस्व)! , O Axe (स्वधिते), Do not injure it (मा एनं हिंसीः)”, he recites (इति आह) while cutting the tree (हिंसन्).

Note: These mantras are used while cutting the tree that will be used as a sacrificial post. Some kuśa grass is placed on the tree and the first mantra (ओष॑धे॒ त्राय॑स्वैनम्) is addressed to it. The second mantra (स्वधि॑ते॒ मैनं॑ हिंसीः) is used to address the axe that cuts the tree. So the meanings of the mantras contradict the action being performed.

अथापि विप्रतिषिद्धार्था भवन्ति । एक॑ ए॒व रु॒द्रोऽव॑तस्थे॒ न द्वि॒तीयः॑ । अस॑ङ्ख्याता स॒हस्रा॑णि ये रु॒द्रा अधि॒ भूम्या॑म् । अ॒श॒त्रुरि॑न्द्र जज्ञिषे । श॒तं सेना॑ अजयत् सा॒कमिन्द्रः॑ । इति ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) the meanings are contradictory (विप्रतिषिद्धार्थाः भवन्ति). (For example) “Only one Rudra (एकः एव रुद्रः) stands (अवतस्थे) without a second (न द्वितीयः)” and “There are innumerable thousands of Rudras (असंख्याताः सहस्राणि ये रुद्राः) on the earth (अधि भूम्याम्)”. Similarly, “O Indra (इन्द्र) ! You are born (जज्ञिषे) without a foe (अशत्रुः)”, and “Indra (इन्द्रः) vanquished (अजयत्) hundreds of armies (शतं सेनाः) at the same time (साकम्).”

अथापि जानन्तं सम्प्रेष्यति । अग्नये समिध्यमानायानु ब्रूहि । इति ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) (the Veda) instructs a person (सम्प्रेष्यति) who already knows (जानन्तम्). (For example) “Address the hymn (अनु ब्रूहि) to the kindled fire (अग्नये समिध्यमानाय).”

अथाप्याहादितिः सर्वमिति । अदि॑ति॒र्द्यौरदि॑तिर॒न्तरि॑क्षम् (ऋ० १.८९.१०) इति । तदुपरिष्टाद् व्याख्यास्मामः ।

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) it is said (इति आह) “Aditi is everything (अदितिः सर्वम्).”. (Then again) “Aditi is the sky (अदितिः द्यौः), Aditi is the intermediate region (अदितिः अन्तरिक्षम्)”. This mantra will be explained later (तत् उपरिष्टात् व्याख्यास्यामः) (in Chapter 4).

Note: According to Kautsa, how is it possible for the same being (Aditi) to be the sky, mother, father, son, and so on?

अथाप्यविस्पष्टार्था भवन्ति । अम्य॑क् (ऋ० १.१६९.३) । या॒दृश्मि॑न् (ऋ० ५.४४.८) । जा॒र॒यायि॑ (ऋ० ६.१.४) । का॒णु॒का (ऋ० ८.७७.४) इति ॥ १.१५ ॥

Furthermore (अथ अपि) (according to Kautsa) (words in the Veda) have obscure meanings (अविस्पष्टर्थाः भवन्ति) – for example अम्यक्, यादृश्मिन् , जारयायि, and काणुका ।


Nirukta     Nirukta1.14     Nirukta1.16
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