Nirukta1.16

अर्थवन्तः शब्दसामान्यात् ।

(We say that the mantras) have meanings (अर्थवन्तः ) because they use the same words (शब्दसामान्यत्) (as are used in spoken language).

एतद्वै यज्ञस्य समृद्धं यद्रूपसमृद्धम् यत्कर्म क्रियमाणमृग्यजुर्वाभिवदति । इति च ब्राह्मणम् ।

(For example) the Brāhmaṇa says (इति ब्राह्मणम्), ” This is indeed the perfection of the sacrifice (एतत् वै यज्ञस्य समृद्धम्), that the form is perfect (यत् रूपसमृद्धम्), the rituals to be performed (यत् कर्म क्रियमाणम्) (are perfect) and according to the prescription of the Ṛg and Yajus (ऋग्यजुः वा अभिवदति). (This is an indication that the Brāhmaṇa considers the mantras to have meaning).

क्रीळ॑न्तौ पु॒त्रैर्नप्तृ॑भिः (ऋ० १०.८५.४२) । इति ।

(The couple spend their old age) playing (क्रीळन्तः) with their sons (पुत्रैः) and grandsons (नप्तृभिः). (This is a simple wish expressed in everyday language, easily understood, and obviously with meaning).

यथो एतन्नियतवाचो युक्तयो नियतानुपूर्व्या भवन्तीति लौकिकेष्वप्येतत् । यथा इन्द्राग्नी पितापुत्रौ । इति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that the mantras have fixed words in a fixed order (युक्तयः नियतवाचः नियतानुपूर्व्याः भवन्ति), (we reply) – the same is true of everyday speech (एतत् लोकेषु अपि), as in words like इन्द्राग्नी and पितापुत्रौ (these forms follow the rules of dvandva compounds which dictate the form and order of the words used).

यथो एतद्ब्राह्मणेन रूपसम्पन्ना विधीयन्त इत्युदितानुवादः स भवति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that the Brāhmaṇa enjoins (ब्राह्मणेन विधीयन्ते) what is already indicated (एतद् रुपसम्पन्नाः) (by the mantra), (we reply) that this is a reiteration of what has been said (सः उदितानुवादः भवति). (This is used even in everyday speech and does not render what has been said meaningless).

यथो एतदनुपपन्नार्था भवन्तीत्याम्नायवचनादहिंसा प्रतीयेत ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that the meanings are impossible (अनुपपन्नार्थाः भवन्ति), (we reply) that there is indeed no injury (अहिंसा प्रतीयेत) (as a result of cutting a tree for the sacrifice) by the authority of the Veda (इति आम्नायवचनात्). (Even in worldly affairs, actions that appear to cause injury – such as those performed by a surgeon, should be viewed as non-injurious because the ultimate objective is welfare).

यथो एतद् विप्रतिषिद्धार्था भवन्तीति लौकिकेष्वप्येतत् । यथा असपत्नोऽयं ब्राह्मणः । अनमित्रो राजा । इति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that the meanings are contradictory (विप्रतिषिद्धार्थाः भवन्ति), (we reply) that the same is true in everyday speech (एतत् लोकेषु अपि). For example (यथा), “this Brāhmaṇa has no enemy (अयं ब्राह्मणः असपत्नः)” or “the king has no enemy (राजा अनमित्रः)”. (In reality everyone has enemies, rivals, or detractors).

यथो एतज्जानन्तं सम्प्रेष्यतीति । जानन्तमभिवादयते । जानते मधुपर्कं प्राह इति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that an injunction is given (सम्प्रेष्यति) to a person who already knows (एतत् जानन्तम्), (we reply) that (even in worldly affairs) one formally introduces oneself (अभिवादयते) to another who already knows (जानन्तम्) (one’s name etc.). Or Madhuparka is offered (मधुपर्कं प्राह) to one who is already acquainted with it (जानते).

यथो एतददितिः सर्वमिति लौकिकेष्वप्येतत् । यथा सर्वरसा अनुप्राप्ताः पानीयम् । इति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that Aditi is everything (अदितिः सर्वम्), (we reply) that the same is true in day speech (एतत् लोकेषु अपि). For example (यथा) we say that all tastes (सर्वरसाः) reside in water (पानीयम् अनुप्राप्ताः). (We also have popular sayings like त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव).

यथो एतदविस्पष्टार्था भवन्तीति नैष स्थाणोरपराधो यदेनमन्धो न पश्यति । पुरुषापराधः स भवति ।

As to (यथो एतत्) (the objection) that the meanings (of the mantras) are obscure (अविस्पष्टार्थाः भवन्ति), (we reply) that it is not the fault of the pillar (न एषः अपराधः स्थाणॊः) that a blind person does not see it (यत् एनम् अन्धः न पश्यति)! This is the fault of the person (सः पुरुषापराधः भवति) (who does not understand the meaning).

यथा जानपदीषु विद्यातः पुरुष विशेषो भवति पारोवर्यवित्सु तु खलु वेदितृषु भूयोविद्यः प्रशस्यो भवति ॥ १.१६ ॥

Just (यथा) as a person skilled in fine arts (जानपदीषु विद्यातः पुरुषः) becomes distinguished (विशेषः भवति), so among wise people who acquired knowledge through tradition (पारोवर्यवित्सु तु खलु वेदितृषु) the one with profound knowledge (भूयोविद्यः) becomes worthy of praise (प्रशस्यः भवति).

Note: पारोवर्यवित्सु – locative plural of पारोवर्यवित् – one who obtains knowledge (वित्) though the succession of teachers and pupils (पारोवर्येण), i.e. the गुरुशिष्यपरम्परा ।


Nirukta     Nirukta1.15     Nirukta1.17
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