Dvisahasri of Tembesvami (Summary and Study)

by Upadhyay Mihirkumar Sudhirbhai | 2012 | 54,976 words

This page relates ‘Incorporation of Grammar in the Dvisahasri’ of the study of the Dvisahasri by Tembesvami:—a Sanskrit epic poem (mahakavya) narrating the legend and activities of Lord Dattatreya, including details on his divine sports and incarnations. Also known as Datta, he is considered one of the Holy Masters in the Natha cult imparting spiritual knowledge and adequate practice to the aspirant.

Incorporation of Grammar in the Dvisāhasrī

H. H. Ṭembesvāmī explains some of the words grammatically as under:

anasūyā (03/14) a self-explanatory word means she who has no nature of finding faults of others or in the works of others (na asūyā = guṇeṣu doṣāviṣkaraṇaṃ yasyā sā).

ābhivādanam [ābhivādana] (18/120) an act of touching the feet. It is defined as one should touch the ear-lobes with two hands, hold the right foot and the left foot of the teacher with his right hand and left hand [1] followed by placing his head on the two ankles of the teacher. [2]

ācāryaḥ [ācārya] (08/73) (niruktam 1/4) a teacher who (01) imparts traditional precepts (ācāraṃ grāhayati), (02) systematically arranges various objects of the knowledge (ācinoti arthān) or (03) develops systematically the intellectual faculty (ācinoti buddhim). Thus ācāryaḥ is the teacher or preceptor that enhances the knowledge. [3]

ātitheyī (11/20) a guest-worshipping lady. The eya (= ḍha) suffix is added to the word ātithiḥ (M) a guest, according to the rule pathyatithi vasati svapaterḍhaña ([Pāṇini] 4/4/104) and then feminine termination is added. Thus it means a lady worshipping guest or a guest devoted lady.

īśvaraḥ [īśvara] (03/26) normally means Lord Śiva, thes Supreme Ruler, but here it signifies Lord Viṣṇu and hence it is grammatically explained in his auto-commentary as one whose nature is protection (īśanaṃ rakṣaṇaṃ tatchīlo viṣṇuḥ).

udāharaṇam [udāharaṇa] (12/04) an example by which one is made acquainted with the unknown or known matter. [4]

enohāri (09/44) means one removing sins (pāpahara). The enaḥ [enas] (N) is normally understood as the effect of evil deeds and hāri means remover. [5]

japaḥ [japa] (18/113) repetition. The letters ja and pa stand for the cessation of further births, destruction of sins respectively. Hence the word japaḥ is called so due to their combination. [6]

dattaḥ [datta](03/42) Datta. sage Atrī being well aware of the words and their meaning, gives different names to the three of his sons. As Lord Viṣṇu blessed Himself “I give myself fully to you” [7] he has given the name Datta [8] (i.e. Lord Dattātreya).

narahariḥ [narahari] (08/17) a name. It is explained etymologically in a verse as nara + hariḥ where the word hariḥ is derived from hṛ (harati-harate) 1U to remove, to take away, to destroy. Thus the name means one who removes the sins, agony and poverty of the people.[9]

nāstikaḥ [nāstika] (03/07) not employed here in the sense of an atheist, but one who is a non-believer in the Vedas and the Śāstras (nāstiko veda-nindakaḥ).

nṛsiṃhaḥ [nṛsiṃha] (13/34) the Man-lion Incarnation. The word is explained by dissolving it as nṛsiṃhaḥ as nṛ (the soul)+ sim ृ āvidyām (ignorance) and haḥ = hantā (the destroyer or the killer). Thus the incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu assumed the form of the Man-lion for the destruction of ignorance and Nescience of the souls.[10]

pativratā (16/49) a chaste wife who attends upon incessantly her husband devotedly like a shadow and whose uninterrupted vow is (for) the husband.[11]

padam (13/53) an abode. It is defined as “the abode is that which is reached or attained by the Yogis in the meditation and it is of the form of the Highest Self”[12]

brahmarākṣasaḥ [brahmarākṣasa] (14/66) a Brahmin-ghost. One belittling the Holy Master by addressing him with contempt or ‘thou (of disregard)’ and by defeating the Vedic Brahmin in debates becomes a Brahmin-ghost in a forest or in a place without water.[13]

bhāṣyam [bhāṣya] (12/05) an exposition. It explains the words of aphorisms with their own comments.[14]

mantraḥ [mantra] (18/113) a sacred formula. The letters ma and tra means mind and protection respectively. Hence the word mantraḥ is called so due to their combination.[15]

mleccha: (14/66) a man of Mleccha caste or origin who eats beef, speaks extremely controversial and one devoid of all good conduct.[16]

yoganidrā (02/17) the final state of merging (laya)[17] of the latent impressions as well as the intellect (manaḥ) all beings (pralaye sarvaprāṇivasānā sahitamanasāṃ yogaḥ).

śambhuvṛttiḥ [śambhuvṛtti] (11/32) Lord Śiva’s way of livelihood. It is explained grammatically that it lessens miseries (śyati duḥkhaṃ tanū karotītiśam|) thus the living upon the alms lessen the miseries of the world.

sutapaḥ [sutapas] (03/39) O sage of stainless penance! It is a vocative of Attributive Compound (bahuvrīhi) sutapāḥ like candramāḥ [candramas?] or dīrghatamāḥ [dīrghatamas?]. It can also mean “suṣṭhu sādhutapaḥ” (good or pious penance) which would be then can Appositional Compound (tatpuruṣa). It is dissolved as “śobhanaṃ niṣkalmaṣaṃ tapaḥ yasya saḥ” (whose penance is praise-worthy i.e. stainless), because any penance in connection to the Lord is pure (sātvika) and hence stainless.

H. H. Ṭembesvāmī has cited many of the aphorisms of Pāṇini.[18]

Archaic usages (ārṣaprayoga):

Moreover H. H. Ṭembesvāmī employs some words of archaic usages (ārṣaprayoga) such as,

(1) ramet (4/20B) for rameta (Ātmanepada)

(2) me (5/14) (my) is used in the sense of mama in the beginning of the line this break of rule anudāttaṃ sarvamapādādau ([Pāṇini] 08/01/18) is justified by himself saying that this is an archaic usage

(3) proktvā, (15/46) is an Absolutive Participle with ktvā (= tvā) suffix which is employed instead of pa in proktvā in place of procya.

(4) ṣaṭkule (22/83) the holy confluence of this name where kūle (on the bank of the river), but the long vowel is shortened and the same is explained in his auto-commentary.[19]

Such archaic usages establish the pious character of the Dvisāhasrī.

Footnotes and references:


This is technically called vyastapāṇinā (with crossed hands) i.e. the hands get crossed while touching the right foot of the teacher with right hand and the left foot with the left hand.


karābhyāṃ yathāvāmānyakaṇāz spṛṣṭvā pādau guroḥ|
vyastābhyāṃ spṛṣṭvā śiro'ṅghyornyasettadabhivādanam||


ācinoti hi śāstrārthamācare sthāpayatyāpi|
svayaṃ cācarate yasmāttenācāryaḥ sa ucyate|


udāharaṇaṃ nāmaikadeśaprasiddhyāśeṣaprasiddhyārthamudāhriyate|


śoṣaṇaṃ pāpapaṅkasya dīpanaṃ jñāna tejasaḥ|
guroḥ pādodakaṃ tīrthaṃ jaṭhare dhārayāmyaham|


janmavicchedapāpaghno japakārau tu tadyujā||


pūrṇatvena mayā'haṃ te datta ityuktavān svayam|| 3/42||


The name Datta i.e. Datta Bhagavāna is derived grammatically and hence it means datta (dattaḥNominative Singular Past Passive Participle “dā dadāti” 3rd U to give) in the sense of one who is given.


bhūyānnaro haririva naratāpāghadainyahṛt|
ayamityākhyayā cakre bālaṃ narahariṃ dvijaḥ||


nṛ = nuḥ narasya jīvasya vā sim āvidyāṃ hantīti nṛsiṃhaḥ|


bhaktyā chāyeva yāśrantaṃ svabhartṛparicāriṇī|
patireva vrataṃ yasyā akhaṇḍaṃ sā pativratā||


padaṃ padyate yogibhirgamyate tatpadaṃ pratyagabhinnaparamātmasvarūpam|


guruṃ huṃkṛtya tuṃkṛtya viprānnirjitya vādataḥ|
araṇye nirjale deśe jāyate brahmarākṣasaḥ||


sūtrasthaṃ padamādāya padaiḥ sūtrānusārībhiḥ|
svapadāni ca varṇyaṃnte bhāṣyaṃ bhāṣyavido viduḥ||


matrakāro manastrāṇo tadyogānmantra ucyate|


gomāṃsabhakṣako yastu viruddhaṃ bahu bhāṣate|
sarvācāravihīnaśca mleccha ityabhidhīyate||


The word is used in a little bit of different sense, “The power covering the individual knowledge of every individual soul” (svasvarūpajñānatirohita karī) in the Saptaśatī (1/67) of the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa.


The citations are listed in App. 03.


kula iti chaṃdonurodhena hrasvatvam ṣaṭkūle ||

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