The Tattvasangraha [with commentary]

by Ganganatha Jha | 1937 | 699,812 words | ISBN-10: 8120800583 | ISBN-13: 9788120800588

This page contains verse 2668-2670 of the 8th-century Tattvasangraha (English translation) by Shantarakshita, including the commentary (Panjika) by Kamalashila: dealing with Indian philosophy from a Buddhist and non-Buddhist perspective. The Tattvasangraha (Tattvasamgraha) consists of 3646 Sanskrit verses; this is verse 2668-2670.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation by Ganganath Jha:

गोशब्देऽवस्थिते योग्ये तदशक्तिजकारिताकारितात् ।
गाव्यादेरपि गोबुद्धिर्मूलशब्दानुसारिणी ॥ २६६८ ॥
तन्नैवं शनकादीनां(?) संस्कृतानवबोधनात् ।
मूलशब्दानुसारेण कथमर्थगतिर्भवेत् ॥ २६६९ ॥
तस्माच्छब्दार्थसम्बन्धो नित्यो नाभ्युपगम्यते ।
स तु सामयिको युक्तः सर्वथा तस्य सम्भवात् ॥ २६७० ॥

gośabde'vasthite yogye tadaśaktijakāritākāritāt |
gāvyāderapi gobuddhirmūlaśabdānusāriṇī || 2668 ||
tannaivaṃ śanakādīnāṃ(?) saṃskṛtānavabodhanāt |
mūlaśabdānusāreṇa kathamarthagatirbhavet || 2669 ||
tasmācchabdārthasambandho nityo nābhyupagamyate |
sa tu sāmayiko yuktaḥ sarvathā tasya sambhavāt || 2670 ||

“The capable (expressive) word ‘go’ being there, if the idea of the cow arises from the use of the corrupt form ‘gāvī’,—it is due to its resembling the original (correct) word;—such use being due to the incapacity (of the speaker).”—(2668)

This cannot be right. How can any such cognition of the right meaning appear on account of the resemblance to the original correct word, among fishermen, etc., who are ignorant of the Sanskrit language?—For these reasons it cannot be admitted that there is an eternal relationship between words and meanings. It can only be based upon convention; as that is possible in all cases.—(2669-2670)


Kamalaśīla’s commentary (tattvasaṃgrahapañjikā):

[verse 2668]:

Says the Opponent:—“Such words as ‘gāvī’ and the like are incorrect (grammatically); and as such these are not truly expressive; hence your

Corroborative Instance is. inadmissible. This has been thus asserted by Kumārila (in Ślokavārtika—Eternality of Words, 276)—‘For us, the word Go is eternal, and people have the idea of the animal Cow from such vulgar deformations of it as Gāvī and the like only when they resemble the original correct word Go; and the use of the incorrect form is due to incapacity’—The meaning of this is as follows:—The correct word Go being truly expressive, when people say that the idea of the Cow is derived also from the use of the incorrect (corrupt) words as Gāvī and the like, the said idea is not provided, by these incorrect words.—Then how does it arise?—It arises from its being like the original correct word Go;—this (use of the corrupt word) is due to the incapacity of the man to pronounce the correct form ‘go’;—from this arises the peculiar action of the Palate and other Speech-centres, from which follows the utterance of the corrupt word gāvī, Bharṭrhari also has declared as follows:—‘The child, on being taught, says amba, amba (Mother, Mother) in the indistinct form, and yet people knowing the correct word have the definite cognition from it; in the same manner, when the correct word should be used, if one uses the incorrect form, from that there is inferred a certain meaning through the intervention of the correct word’”.

This idea is set forth in the following:—[see verse 2668 above]

The above argument is answered in the following:—[see verses 2669-2670 above]

[verses 2669-2670]:

Śanaka’ is the Fisherman.—‘Etc.’ includes the Mlecchas and other people. In the case of these men what really happens is that it is only when things are spoken of by correct Sanskrit words that they become confounded; hence in such cases, the cognition of the meaning cannot be due to resemblance to the original correct word.—(2669-2670)

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