Rig-Veda-Sanhita, by Dr. Max Muller

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Rig-Veda-Sanhita, by Dr. Max Muller

Postby admin » Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:29 am

Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya
edited by Dr. Max Muller
Volume I
Published under the Patronage of the Honourable the East-India-Company

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by Dr. Max Muller, Volume I, Published under the Patronage of the Honourable the East-India-Company, 1849

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by Max Muller, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, Volume II, Published under the Patronage of the Honourable the East-India-Company, 1854

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by Max Muller, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, Volume III, Published under the Patronage of the Honourable the East-India-Company, 1856

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by Max Muller, M.A., Volume IV, Published under the Patronage of the Right Honourable Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Wm. H. Allen and Co., Publishers to the India Office, 1862

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by F. Max Muller, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, Volume V, Published under the Patronage of the Honourable Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Wm. H. Allen and Co., Publishers to the India Office, 1872

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Together with the Commentary of Sayanacharya, edited by F. Max Muller, M.A., Christ Church, Oxford, Volume VI, Published under the Patronage of the Honourable Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Wm. H. Allen and Co., Publishers to the India Office, 1874

-- Rig-Veda-Sanhita: The Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans, Hymns to the Maruts or the Storm Gods, Translated and Explained by F. Max Muller, M.A., LL.D., Vol. I., 1869
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Re: Rig-Veda-Samhita, by Max Dr. Max Muller

Postby admin » Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:31 am

Part 1 of 2






After five years spent in the collection of materials for an Edition of the Rig-veda and its Sanskrit Commentary by Sayanacharya, the first volume is now completed, comprising the first Ashtaka (Ogdoad), and about the fourth part of the whole.[a]

[a An introductory Memoir on the Veda is in the Press, and will be published separately.]

When I first entered on this undertaking, I saw but little chance that I should ever succeed in carrying it out, and my only hope of success was derived from the firm conviction that, in the present state of philological, historical and philosophical research, no literary work was of greater importance and interest to the philologer, the historian, and philosopher, than the Veda, the oldest literary monument of the Indo-European world. There were many difficulties to be overcome in carrying out this work. In the public libraries of Germany no MSS. of the Rig-veda and its commentary were to be found, except some old copies of the text and a small and worm-eaten fragment of Sayana’s commentary in the Royal Library at Berlin. It was necessary, therefore, to spend several years in the libraries of Paris, London, and Oxford, in order to copy and collate all the necessary Vaidik MSS. A complete apparatus criticus having been brought together in this manner, it became possible to commence a philological study of the Rig-veda, and to prepare upon a safe basis a critical edition of both its text and commentary. But a still greater difficulty remained, the expense of publishing such a work. These obstacles have been such, that although the want of an edition of the Veda has been keenly felt by all Sanskrit scholars, and although there were many fully qualified for such a work, yet no one has been found to undertake it, since the first edition of the Rig-veda by the late Dr. Rosen was interrupted by the early death of that highly-gifted scholar. It is owing to a concurrence of many fortunate circumstances, and particularly to the kind encouragement and liberal assistance which I have received from various quarters, that these difficulties have been at length overcome. For several years I was able to advance but slowly, being entirely left to my own resources, and having but few leisure hours to bestow upon Vaidik studies. But the further I proceeded in my work, the more encouragement I received. Amongst those who took an active interest in it, I have to mention with sincere gratitude the names of Alexander von Humboldt and Professor E. Burnouf in France, and of Chevalier Bunsen and Professor H. H. Wilson in England. The final success, however, of this undertaking is owing to the well-known liberality of the-Honourable the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, whose enlightened views on this subject cannot be better expressed than in their own words: ‘The Court consider that the publication of so important and interesting a work as that to which your proposals refer, is in a peculiar manner deserving of the patronage of the East-India Company, connected as it is with the early religion, history, and language of the great body of their Indian subjects.

This first edition, however, of the Rig-veda and its Sanskrit commentary is not intended for the general scholar, but only for those who make Sanskrit their special study, and for those among the natives of India who are still able to read their own Sacred Books in the language of the original. It would have been more agreeable to myself to have kept for my own use the materials which I had collected for the Veda, (I allude especially to the Sanskrit commentary,) devoting all my time to their study, and communicating to the public the last results only of my researches. But I felt that I should perform a more useful work by at once making public those materials, without which no philological study of the Veda was possible. A greater number of Sanskrit scholars will thus be enabled to contribute their share towards the elucidation of Vaidik antiquities, and we may now look forward to a more complete study of Vaidik literature than it is in the power of any single individual to bestow upon so comprehensive a subject, and to a better understanding of Vaidik language, religion, and mythology, than can be expected from a scholastic Indian commentator of the fourteenth century after Christ.

I determined therefore on publishing first a complete text of the Rig-veda-samhita, (the Smnhita and the Pada-text,) together with the only complete commentary on the Rig-veda now existing, the Madhaviya-vedartha-Prakasa by Sayanakarya. As the limits of this publication were fixed, it became necessary to save space as much as possible, in order to get at least the whole of the text and commentary into the prescribed compass of the edition. For this reason, as well as because this edition was destined for the use of Indian as well as European scholars, I had to exclude, and to reserve for a separate work, all critical and explanatory notes of my own, together with the various readings of the MSS.

My principal object in this present edition is therefore to give a correct text of the Rig-veda, and to restore from the MSS. a readable and authentic text of Sayana’s commentary. The former was by far the easier task.
The Mss; of the Rig-Veda have generally been written and corrected by the Brahmans with so much care that there are no various readings in the proper sense of the word, except those few which are found noticed as such in the commentaries or in the Pratisakhyas. Even these are generally of small importance, and seldom affect the meaning of a sentence. For the most part they arise from niceties of orthography and calligraphy, which by themselves are of little importance to a European scholar, though they may become of interest if considered with reference to the peculiarities of the old Sakhas or branches of the Veda. The hymns of the Rig-veda are happily much more free from these orthographic minutiae than the prayers of the Sama and Yagur-vedas. Of real importance, however, for critical purposes, are the alterations which the verses of the Rig-Veda have undergone when incorporated into the ceremonial prayers of the Sama, Yagur, and Atharva-vedas. But neither are these alterations to be considered in the light of variae lectiones, and, as they cannot be used for a critical restoration of the received text of the Rig-veda, they will better be considered in a general critical account of the whole Vaidik literature.b

[b The importance of these alterations has been pointed out by Professor Benfey, in his valuable edition of the Sama-veda-samhita; Introduction, p. lvii, "Di Hymnen des Sama-veda herausgegeben, ubersetzt und mit Glossar versehn von Theodor Benfey, Leipzig, F.A. Brockhaus, 1848]

For the text of the Rig-veda I have made use of the following MSS.

I. Samhita-text

S. 1. A manuscript in the collection of the Rev. Dr. Mill, now belonging to the Bodleian Library at Oxford. It contains all the eight Ashtakas (Ogdoads) of the Rig-veda. The first Ashtaka consists of 89 leaves without a date, the last leaves having been replaced by a modern hand. The second comprises 70 leaves, and has no date. The third, of 92 leaves, is dated Samvat 1777. The fourth, of 100 leaves, is dated Samvat 1776. The fifth, of 102 leaves, is dated Samvat 1771. The sixth, of 104 leaves, has no date, the last leaves being of more modern origin. The seventh consists of 90 leaves, and is dated Samvat 1777. At the end of the sixth Adhyaya, Vargars 14-28 are wanting in this MS., but have been added afterwards by the original writer on two separate leaves. The eighth Ashtaka consists of 104 leaves, without date. There are four different handwritings to be distinguished in this manuscript. Ashtakas 3-7 are written by the same hand, about the year A.D. 1720 at Benares. The name of the writer, however, is every where carefully scratched out with yellow ink. The last ten leaves of the sixth Ashtaka are written by the same person, who copied the second Ashtaka. The first and last Ashtakas again are copied by a third writer: while some few leaves on white paper belong to a fourth and quite modern hand, and have probably been supplied by the Pandit employed by Dr. Mill.

S. 2. Another manuscript in the collection of Dr. Mill, now belonging to the Bodleian Library. This also is a complete copy of all the eight Ashtakas. The first Ashtaka consists of 103 leaves, without date. The second has 93 leaves, and is dated Saka 1679 (A.D. 1757). The third fills 97 leaves, and is dated Saka 1677. The fourth comprises 92 leaves, and is dated Saka 1679. The fifth consists of 62 leaves; the sixth of 80 leaves; and the seventh of 76 leaves; all of them without dates. Leaves 12-37 in the seventh Ashtaka have been supplied by a modern writer. The eighth Ashtaka comprises 130 leaves, and is dated Saka 1776. In this manuscript also four different writers can be distinguished: to the first belong Ashtakas 1-4; to the second, Ashtakas 5-7; to the third, the eighth Ashtaka; and to the fourth, the modern additions in the seventh Ashtaka.

S. 3. The third manuscript belongs to Mr. Colebrooke's collection, deposited in the Library of the East-India-House, where it forms Nos. 129-132 of the Catalogue. No. 129 contains the Grihya-sutras of Asvalayana and the first and second Ashtakas. The first Ashtaka contains 59 leaves, and is dated Samvat 1802: the second contains 60 leaves, and is of the same date. No. 130 contains the third and fourth Ashtakas; the former of 53, the latter of 54 leaves; both dated Samvat 1802. No. 131 contains Ashtakas 5 and 6; the former of 54 leaves, the latter of 56 leaves; both dated Samvat 1802. No. 132 contains the Sarvanukrama and Ashtakas 7 and 8; the former of 56, the latter of 61 leaves; equally dated Samvat 1802. The whole Manuscript was evidently written by one person, about the year 1745: his name is scratched out, but seems to have been Somagopakasinatha.

II. Pada-text

P. 1. A manuscript in Dr. Mill's collection, now belonging the Bodleian Library. It contains all the eight Ashtakas. The first Ashtaka consists of 97 leaves, and is dated Samvat 1727, Saka 1592. ( A. D. 1670). The second contains 129 leaves and is dated Samvat 1728. The third fills 109 leaves, and is not dated. The fourth has 107 leaves, and is dated Samvat 1727. The fifth contains 84 leaves, without a date; the last leaf having been supplied by a modem hand. The sixth Ashtaka comprise 89 leaves, and is not dated. The seventh consists of 95 leaves, and is dated Samvat 1672 (A. D. 1615). It was difficult, however, to read the last page, which contains the date and the name of the writer, but has been pasted over with yellow paper [c]

[c. All that can be read is [x]. Even this has been traced over with ink, by I which it became still more illegible. Afterwards another writer has given the date at which the accents were added, but there also we can only read [x]- etc. To judge from the handwriting of the MS. and from the fragmentary passages which are still legible, I conclude the MS, to have been written by Damodara-Sadasiva, who generally signs himself [x] (or [x]) [x]. He was still alive in Samvat 1706.].

The eighth Ashtaka contains 86 leaves, but breaks off with the last Varga of the seventh Adhyaya. The rest has been supplied by a modern manuscript, without accents, dated Samvat 1857, Saka 1722 (A. D. 1800). In this manuscript also four different hands may be traced. The oldest part is the seventh and eighth Ashtakas, written in A.D. 16 15: next come Ashtakas 1-6, written in A.D. 1760: thirdly, the supplement of the eighth Ashtaka, written in A. D. 1800: and lastly, some few leaves of still more modern origin, probably copied by a Pandit employed by Dr. Mill.

P. 2. A complete copy of the Rig-veda-samhita, bequeathed by John Taylor M. D., to the Hon. Court of Directors of the East-India-Company, and entered in the Catalogue under No. 2032. It has been copied at Bombay, and is bound together in one large volume: its date is from Saka 1736 to 1737: the name of the writer Ramabhatta, called Sebenkara.

It was not necessary for an editor of the Rig-veda to collate a greater number of MSS., or to classify them according to their age and origin. I have seen nearly all the MSS. of the Rig-veda which exist in Europe, and I feel convinced that no use can be derived from them as manuscripts, because all of them are but transcripts, more or less carefully executed, of one and the same text[d]

[d The late Dr. F. Rosen, who had undertaken an edition of the Rig-veda, part of which was published after his lamented death in 1837, has for the same reason given no various readings for the text of the Samhita: and I may also quote Dr. A. Kuhn of Berlin, on the same subject, as a later but not less weighty authority on questions connected with Vaidik literature; Jahrbucher fur wissenschaftliche Kritik, Berlin, 1844, p. 131.].

If there were, as in other Sanskrit works, corrupt passages, on which doubts might exist, a comparison of the Samhita-text with the Pada-text, or a reference to the Commentary, would have been sufficient to remove such doubts. But so far from this being required, the reading of the Smnhita-text, the Pada-text, and the text which the commentator had before him, can each be established with such certainty by the MSS., that it would be wrong to correct even the smallest differences in the quantity or accent of vowels which occur occasionally between these three texts, but which are always supported by the full testimony of each class of MSS. There are instances in almost every hymn where a long vowel occurs in the Samhita-text, while the Pada-text has a short one. The commentator considers these productions of a short vowel as Vaidik liberties. But in some cases where a long vowel seems to be regular, and the Pada-text has notwithstanding a short one instead, this shortening is equally pronounced by Sayana as a Vaidik irregularity: for instance, Rv. I, 37, 11. [x] instead of [x][e]

[e [x].];

1, 61, 14. [x] instead of [x][f]

[f [x] Cf. 1, 84, 4. [x] 1, 84, 6. the short i in [x] instead of [x] is called [x]; while 1, 11, 1. [x] is explained by [x]. Cf. Panini, VIII. 2, 17, 2.].

Instances occur where the text followed by the commentator is different from the text of our MSS. Rv. 1, 48, 5. [x] is both in the Samhita and Pada-text an oxytone, while Sayana explains it as a paroxytone. Rv. 1, 116, 1. the Pada-text has [x], while, according to Sayana, the author of the Pada-text (Sakalya) must have read [x]. Rv. 1, 61, 9. the Pada-text ought to have, according to Sayana [x], but all the MSS. have [x]. RV 1, 52, 10 [x] has no accent in the Samhita and Pada-text, while Sayana explains it as if it were a paroxytone[g]

[g Sayana does not explain how [x] could be without an accent in the text though generally he endeavours to account for irregular accents; that is to say, to reconcile them with the rules of Panini. See, for instance, 1, 61, 1. where he even admits of a [x]].

Notwithstanding the great accuracy with which the MSS. are writte, occasional mistakes occur. Letters, syllables, and words are sometimes left out, sometimes misplaced in one or other of the MSS., owing to inevitable inadvertencies on the part of the copyist[h]

[h This the writers of MSS. admit themselves in several cases. For although they generally say at the end of a MS. that they have copied it as it was in the original, and that it is not their fault if mistakes occur, yet they complain frequently of the hardships and difficulties of their work. I subjoin a few specimens of their poetry:
"If I have written a mistake here, because I could not see, or my mind was wandering, noble persons may correct it all, but let them not be angry with writers."
"A Muni even may err; Bhima even was vanquished: be it right or wrong, no fault must be given to me."
"As I have seen the book, so I have written it; be it right or wrong, it is not my fault."
"My back, my hips, and my neck are broken; my sight is stiff in looking down: keep this book with care which has been written with pain." Others read [x] instead of [x].].

They never occur, however, in more than one MS. in each instance, and I know only one case in the first Ashtaka where a real varietas lectionis might seem to have arisen in this manner, RV. 1, 112, 19: MSS. S. 1, 2, 3. and P. 1. have [x], which Rosen has adopted; while P. 2 and the Commentator have [x].

As to the spelling of words, I have endeavoured as much as possible to preserve consistency, and never to deviate from the general laws of Sanskrit orthography, except where Vaidik peculiarities were based on the unanimous authority of all the MSS. Each MS. has its own peculiar character, which must be known and taken into account in order to make proper use of it.[ i]

[i Rv. 1, 50, 6. for instance, in order to support a conjecture, great stress has been laid on the fact that in [x], the long a of [x] has been added by a later hand in S. 3. (Cf. Zur Literatur und Geschichte des Veda. Drei Abhandlungen von R. Roth. p. 82. ) Yet though S. 3. is certainly a very accurate copy, it could scarcely be expected to have preserved traces of an older reading than Yaska had before him in the Nirukta, where this verse is quoted (Nirukta, xii. 22) with the long a. The fact is, as will appear from a more accurate collation of this MS., that S. 3. dispenses most frequently with writing the long vowel in cases of Anunasika in words where there can be no doubt that the long vowel is necessary, and where all the other MSS. have it. Instances of this occur continually, and have generally been corrected by the writer who added the accents; as in 1, 48, 14. [x]; 1, 45, 1. [x]; 1, 44, 1. [x]; 1, 44, 4. [x]; 1, 47, 5 [x], etc. Sometimes the long vowel is not written, but, according to the laws of Vaidik grammar, the quantity is marked by a particular sign: Rv. 1, 63, 1. [x]; 1, 62, 12. [x]; 1, 59, 6 [x]; here also another hand has added the long vowel. Rv. 1.59, 1 again, we find [x] instead of [x]. This does not at all exclude the possibility of an old mistake in this verse (Rv. 1. 50, 6), but it shows that, in order to make proper use of a MS. it is not sufficient to collate a few passages, but that the whole character of a MS. must be studied by a careful collation before it can be used as an authority for particular passages.]

Some MSS., for instance, avoid certain groups of double letters, not only where the reduplication rise from phonetic laws, but also where two independent letters have been joined together. This shorter way of writing occurs not only in Vaidik, but also in other MSS., and cannot be considered as affecting the pronunciation of words, because the simple letter makes the preceding vowel long; as if a double letter had been written. I have seen, therefore, no reason for adopting this way of spelling in a printed edition, because other Vaidik MSS, frequently give the double letters where they ought to stand, according to the laws of Sanskrit grammar, and because a deviation from these laws might lead to confusion. Some MSS. write a double aspirate, where, according to the laws of Sanskrit grammar, the first of the two letters ought not to be aspirated. I mean forms like [x] instead of [x] etc. As good MSS., however, restrict this peculiarity to the group [x] instead of [x][k]

[k Other groups, which also occur occasionally, but never in all the MSS. at the same time, are [x] and [x]. Cf. Benfey, Sama-veda, p. xxxiv.],

and as in this case also carefully written MSS. preserve the regular form [x], it would have been to no purpose to give up a general phonetic law (on the incompatibility of two aspirates) for what may be after all a mere difference in writing[l]

[l [x] may be meant for [x] in the same way as [x] is meant frequently for [x]. Bukka's name is spelt [x], and [x]; and in words like [x] and [x] it is often difficult to say which form is meant; as words like [x] also, where there can be no doubt as to the double k and its pronunciation, are written [x].].

But although I have tried to be as consistent as possible in the way of spelling, yet I have submitted to the authority of the MSS. in cases where their testimony was quite unanimous, particularly with regard to nasal letters, because in such cases there was reason to suppose that certain peculiarities, if exhibited by all the MSS., might res upon he authority of that Pratisakhya to which our MSS. belong. Whether with the conflicting testimonies of old Grammarians, quoted in the Pratisakhyas, it will be possible to restore the whole Samhita of the Rig-veda in such a manner as to include all the minute nicetics of spelling prescribed by different members of each Sakha, is a question on which I should feel inclined entirely to submit to Professor Roth's authority, who has devoted much time and learning to this interesting branch of Vaidik literature.

There is only one case where I thought it better to deviate from the way of spelling adopted by the Vaidik MSS: this is with regard to the Avagraha. The Vaidik MSS. use the Avagraha where a hiatus arises from two vowels meeting at the end and beginning of two words, while the common custom has been to use this sign to mark the elision of an initial a, which has been dropped in order to avoid a hiatus between it and a preceding vowel. If the Vaidik use of the Avagraha had been adopted, it would have been necessary to introduce a new sign for cases of real elision, which the Vaidik, MSS. do not mark at all. Instead of this I have preferred to retain the Avagraha where it is of real use in marking the place where a letter has been dropped, and to exclude it where it has no other purpose than that of marking a hiatus[m]

[m The Avagraha is used in Vaidik MSS., not only where an elision ought to have taken place, according to the general law of Sanskrit grammar; (for instance, [x]); but also after those vowels which Sanskrit grammarians call pragrihya, and which are never affected by a following vowel, like [x]. The same sign is put also after a vowel which has been modified by the influence of one immediately following, as [x]; and even where final consonant has been dropped on account of a following vowel, as [x]. By being employed for so many purposes, and this not at all consistently, the Avagraha, as it stands in Vaidik MSS., is of little use.],

which is quite as clear to the eye without any such sign.

I have now to state the principles which I have followed in editing the Commentary of Sayana. If the MSS. of the Rig-veda are generally the best, the MSS. of the Commentaries are nearly the worst to be met with in Sanskrit libraries: they have generally been copied by men who did not understand what they were writing, and the number of mistakes is at first sight quite discouraging. No class of writings would have needed more to be copied by men who were masters of their subject than commentaries such as these, which abound in short extracts, taken, without any further reference, from other books on grammatical, etymological, ceremonial, theological, and philosophical subjects. Most of these quotations are only detached fragments, full of technical expressions, and often quite unintelligible by themselves. In order to understand, nay frequently in order to read these passages, it was necessary to have recourse to the works from which they were taken. Some of these works were already published, but others existed only in MS., and had first to be analysed, and furnished with alphabetical indices, before any use could be made of them. By this process, however, a double advantage was gained. In most cases a comparison with the work from which passages were quoted served to correct the mistakes of the Commentary; while in other cases a frequent recurrence of the same quotation in the Commentary furnished also the means of correcting false readings in the original works, or supplied, at all events, a well-authenticated varietas lectionis. Sometimes, however, the same passage is quoted differently in different places of the Commentary. This may be accounted for by the fact that Indian authors trust so much to their memory as to quote generally by heart. Such slight differences, therefore, I have left unaltered whenever they were supported by the testimony of the best MSS.

As to the other part of the Commentary, which contains the original explanations of Madhava, as edited by Sayana, a similar advantage for a critical restoration of corrupt passages was derived from the frequent repetition of the same explanations in different hymns, which also made it easier to become familiar with the style of the Commentator, and his whole way of thinking and interpreting the Veda. It was a further advantage that the MSS. were most numerous for the first book of the Commentary, and, as Sayana says with regard to the first Adhyaya of his Commentary, [x] "he who has got through this, can understand the rest," it might, at all events, be said with some truth, that after having worked through the first Ashtaka, an editor may go on to the rest with a smaller number of MSS.

For the first Ashtaka I had twelve MSS. However, we have learnt from Greek and Latin philology that a great number of MSS. is not at all desirable for critical purposes. In most cases those numerous MSS. which have been collated for classical authors have only served to spoil the text; to make the reading of doubtful passages still more doubtful; and to give rise to a mass of conjectural readings, based either upon he authority of he transcriber of a MS., or upon that of an ingenious editor. In this manner an immense deal of labour has been wasted in classical philology; so that now, after the simple rules for using MSS., have been laid down by a new school of critical philologers, such as Bekker, Dindorf, Lachmann, and others, almost all the old editions of classical authors have become useless for critical purposes, with the exception of some of the editiones principes, which, as they simply reproduced one MS., though generally a very bad one, can claim for themselves at least a certain degree of authenticity. Before MSS. can be used for critical purposes, it is necessary that they should themselves be examined critically, in order to determine their origin, their age, and their genealogical ramifications, and thus to fix their relative value. If it were possible to recover the original MS. of a work, as written by the author himself, there would be no need of criticism; we might dispense with all later MSS., and we should merely have to reproduce the original text, pointing out at the same time such mistakes the author himself might have committed. But generally our MSS. are much later than the composition of the works which they contain, and, if compared with one another, they are found to differ from each other, partly in mistakes and omissions, partly in corrections and additions, arising, in the course of centuries, from the hands or heads of ignorant or learned transcribers. For the most part these various readings are not peculiar to one or the other MS. only, but the same mistakes occur generally in several MSS. at the same time. Now, if there are, for instance, certain MSS. which omit a certain number of passages that have been preserved in others, we may safely conclude that the MSS. which coincide in omitting these passages flow from the same original source. But out of the number of MSS. which thus coincide in omitting certain sentences, some may again differ in other characteristic passages, and thus form new classes and subdivisions. By carefully collecting a large number of such characteristic passages, all the MSS. of an author arrange themselves spontaneously, and form at last a kind of genealogical series, where each has its proper place, and commands, according to its position, but not according to its age, its proper share of authority. For a MS. may be of modern date, yet if by a comparison of certain classical passages it can be shown to have been copied immediately from an old MS., it inherits, so to say, a greater share of authority than MSS. which, though of greater age, are of more distant relationship. Here, however, a distinction must be made between the authenticity and the correctness of a certain reading. As the date of the oldest MS. reaches but seldom to the age of' the author of the work, we can only expect by a critical, and, so to say, genealogical arrangement of MSS., to arrive at the best authenticated, not at the original and correct text of an author. It sometimes happens, indeed, that all the MSS. of a work can be shown to have originated from one MS. which is still in existence, as is the case, for instance, with Sophocles. But most frequently there remain in the end two or more different groups of MSS., each with its own peculiar readings, and each group entirely independent of the other. In the former case the best that can be done in a merely critical edition is to reproduce the oldest and best authenticated MS. But it frequently happens, that even in the oldest MS., upon which all the others depend, mistakes occur, which have been corrected in more modern MSS., sometimes by mere conjecture, sometimes by using quotations from an author occurring in other works which have preserved a more ancient and more correct reading. Such passages are open to philological discussions, and have to be treated in notes. In the latter case, if there remain several independent branches of MSS., the task becomes more difficult; and as each class of MSS. may claim for itself the same degree of authenticity, it becomes the duty of an editor to choose in each particular case the reading of that class of MSS. which may seem to him most correct, and best in accordance with the general style of the author. Frequently, however, even in this case one class of MSS. will be discovered, which by its general character of correctness acquires a right to overrule the testimony of the other classes in doubtful passages. All this must be finally settled before a critical edition of any author can be commenced; and it is necessary, therefore, for an editor to collate most carefully even those passages where the various readings of MSS. bear the evident character of mere mistakes, but where, notwithstanding, the omission of a single letter may often serve to point out the connection of a certain class of MSS. Grave errors and long omissions are generally much less characteristic as marking a family likeness between certain MSS. than small and insignificant mistakes, because the former have often struck those who copied a MS., and have induced them to correct erroneous readings on their, own authority, or to supply important omissions from other MSS., in case they could be procured. The more insignificant mistakes, on the contrary, were more likely to be overlooked and to remain unaltered.

With regard to the twelve MSS. of the Commentary to the first Ashtaka of the Riv-veda, I have only succeeded in reducing them to three independent classes. It is not very likely that MSS. should still be found in India contemporaneous with Sayana, though, if we could trust native authorities, copies of Sayana's works have been buried in the ground near Vidyanagara. Excluding these MSS. the existence of which is extremely problematical, I am convinced that there are no Mss. at present which have any claim to be considered as exhibiting the Commentary exactly such as it came from the hands of Sayana.

I shall proceed to give a list of those MSS. which I have made use of for this edition. I shall call the three classes, to which all the MSS. belong, A, B, and C, marking at the same time each particular MS. by its own number.
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Re: Rig-Veda-Samhita, by Max Dr. Max Muller

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Part 2 of 2


A. 2. A manuscript in four volumes, containing all the eight Ashtakas. It was presented by Colebrooke to the library of the East-India-House, where it is entered under Nos. 2133-2136. It contains also the text of the hymns, but not throughout. In some Ashtakas the accents also are marked. It is dated between 1747 and 1760[n]

[n First Ashtaka: [x]. This gives Saka 1673, or 1751 A.D. Fourth Ashtaka: [x]. This gives Saka 1669, or 1747 A.D. Sixth Ashtaka: [x] = 1749 A.D. Seventh Ashtaka: [x]. This gives 1752 A.D. Eighth Ashtaka: [x] This gives 1760 A.D.],

and has been written by different hands at Benares. It is on the whole the most valuable MS., and the only one which represents this first class of MSS. throughout the whole of the Commentary, though in some of the later Ashtakas long passages are wanting in this MS. also.

For the first Ashtaka I have to include in this class--

A. 1. An old MS. of the National Library at Paris, containing the first Ashtaka only. It is well written, and indeed gave me the first hope that a critical edition of Sayana might still be possible. It is dated Samvat 1625[o]

[o [x].]

(1682. A.D.), and is in many respects more useful than A. 2. But, though of earlier date than A. 2, it cannot be considered by any means as the original from which A. 2. was copied: for although the omission of passages which stand in A. 1. might be ascribed to the negligence of the transcriber of A. 2., yet there are also whole lines which are left out in A. 1., but which are not wanting in A. 2. Both MSS. flow from one original source, and their authority is on the whole equal; though A. 1., as being the earlier branch, has thereby some advantages over A. 2. The absence of the other seven Ashtakas in A. 1. is a great loss for an edition of the Commentary.

To the same class must also be referred A. 3., the MS. of the first Ashtaka in Sir R. Chambers' collection, now in the Royal Library at Berlin. Of this old MS., which is in a very bad state of preservation, I possess no complete collation, but only short notes and extracts which I made before I had seen the MSS. at Paris and London, and before I was in a position to conceive the possibility of a critical edition of the Commentary. A comparison of several characteristic passages, however, shews the connection of this MS. with A. 1. and A. 2., with which it coincides in several of its right as well as of its wrong readings. As I was not able, however, to verify in each particular passage the reading of this MS., it is not to be understood as included in the general designation of class A, unless especially mentioned.


The second. class, B, is represented by two MSS., both of them complete copies of the Commentary. I owe my first acquaintance with this class of MSS. to the kindness and liberality of Professor E. Burnouf, who allowed me, during my stay at Paris, to copy and collate the MS. of Sayana in his possession. Besides several passages which are corrected or supplied by this MS. in places where mistakes or omissions occur in A. or C., it contains also a number of passages which evidently bear the character of later additions: they stand frequently without any connection with the rest of the Commentary, and I had no doubt that they owed their origin to marginal notes which had been added by Brahmans while studying the Veda, and which in later copies had been incorporated into the text, though inserted in a wrong place. This supposition I found fully proved by another MS., which has lately been added to the library of the East-India-House,and which is evidently the very MS. from which Professor Burnouf's copy was taken. In this MS. all those spurious passages, which occur neither in A. nor C., have not yet been incorporated into the text, but appear still as marginal notes. Nay, it is even easy to see how, by mistaking the signs of reference, the transcriber was led to misplace some of these additions. I call the MS. of the East-India-House B. 1., and that of Professor Burnouf B. 2.; though the latter is on the whole so carefully copied, that both may be considered as one MS.


The third class of MSS. is much more numerously represented, but consists almost entirely of modern copies, executed, with more or less care, for the use of European scholars. Yet this class of MSS. also was indispensable for restoring a complete and correct text of Sayana: for though omissions and mistakes are very frequent, yet some difficult passages are given more correctly in this class of MSS. than in either A. or B.; while others, which are partly omitted in A. or B., receive occasionally great help from a comparison of C. Modern additions occur, but very seldom, and their late origin is so evident that they cannot be mistaken. The following is a list of this last class of MSS.

C. 1. A complete copy of the Commentary in the National Library at Paris. It is advantageously distinguished from the rest, in so far as some very considerable omissions common to all the C. MSS. have been supplied in C. 1. from another MS. Yet there can be no doubt that, with these exceptions, all the rest of this MS. descends from the same original source as the other C. MSS. There is, for instance, a long omission at the end of the fourth Adhyaya of the first Ashtaka: all the C. MSS. break off in the third verse of the twenty-fifth Varga (p. 534 of my edition), with the words [x], so that twenty pages are altogether wanting. It is difficult to account for this omission, and I suppose this loss to have happened very early, because in A. and B. also, where the Commentary goes on to the end of the fourth Adhyaya, there is a peculiarity in the style of the Commentator not quite in accordance with the rest of his work. That this omission has been supplied in C. 1. from a different MS. is evident, and can be traced even in the smallest particulars. Thus, for instance, throughout the whole of this supplement the merely grammatical part of the Commentary is always divided by u u from the rest, while in all the rest of this MS. the beginning of the grammatical explanations is not marked at all.

C. 1. b. A second MS. of the National Library at Paris, comprehending the first Ashtaka only, and very negligently written.

C. 2. The next MS. of this class is a copy which Dr. Mill brought over from India, and which he kindly lent me for my edition. It will hereafter be deposited in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, for which the whole collection of Dr. Mill's Sanskrit MSS. has been lately purchases. It contains all the eight Ashtakas compete, with the usual omissions of the C. MSS., and is written very carefully and distinctly.

C.3. One volume, containing the first Ashtaka only. It belonged formerly to the Sanskrit College at Calcutta, afterwards to Professor Wilson, and is now deposited in the Bodleian Library.

C. 4. A complete copy of Sayana's Commentary, forming Nos. 78-86. in Professor Wilson's collection of Sanskrit MSS. in the Bodleian Library. It is dated Samvat 1890 = 1833 A.D.

C. 5. Another copy belonging to the same collection, and entered in the Catalogue under Nos. 57-60. It comprehends the first, third, and fourth Ashtakas only; the second being supplied by another MS., No. 74, which contains six only out of the eight Adhyayas.

C. 6. A Bengali MS., containing the text and commentary of the first two Adhyayas of the first Ashtaka. This likewise forms part of Professor Wilson's collection, and is entered in the Catalogue of the Bodleian Library under No. 75.

That all these MSS. must be considered as separated from the MSS. of Sayana himself by at least one degree, I conclude from the existence of such mistakes as are common to all the three classes of our MSS. I do not mean to say that Sayana may not himself have committed mistakes in writing his commentary. On the contrary, there are mistakes in all the MSS. which most probably rest upon Sayana's own responsibility. For instance, Rv. 1. 114, 4, the grammatical explanation of [x] evidently contains a mistake: yet all the MSS. quote the same Sutra of Panini (III. 3, 126), and there can be little doubt that Sayana himself is the author of this wrong quotation[p]

[p Instead of [x], Sayana ought to have written [x].].

If mistakes of this kind occur only in one class of MSS., or in two, but not in all three at the same time, it must frequently remain uncertain whether they are to be laid to the charge of Sayana or his transcribers. For instead, RV. 1, 97, 3. A. has [x], while B. and C. read [x]. Sayana might have written both, but I have retained the reading of A, as, in cases like this, A. generally represents the more authentic reading, B. and C. being more liable to corrections. RV. 1, 102, 3. however, I have adopted the reading of B. and C. [x], instead of [x] (A. 2.), because, as A. 1. coincides here with B. and C., the reading of A. 2., can only be considered as resting upon the authority of the transcriber of A. 2., and not upon the collective authority of A. Sometimes old mistakes have been corrected in the more modern MSS. Rv. 1, 66, 3, A. and C. read [x], while in B. the grammatical fault, [x], has been corrected into [x]. Though [x] may have originated with Sayana himself, I have of course adopted the reading of B. I shall now quote, however, some passages where mistakes common to all the MSS. cannot be ascribed to the author, but must have crept into the MSS. before any of our present copies were written. There are evident traces of corruption in the text of the Commentary in explaining the grammatical formation of [x], Rv. 1, 110, 2. All the MSS. omit [x], but have yet the [x] after [x], which leaves no doubt that [x] must have preceded it. Again, Rv. 1, 115, 5, where [x] is explained, the MSS. have only [x], which explains merely the first part of [x], and necessarily requires the addition of either [x] or [x], or some similar word, to explain the second part. This, however, is omitted in all the MSS., and I was obliged to supply it by conjecture. There is one passage towards the end of the first Ashtaka (Rv. 1, 120, 7.) where the omission of several letters is marked in the A. as well as in the C. MSS., and where the B. MSS. also, though they do not mark the omission, are of no use for restoring the text. In this case I was unable to fill out this omission, and I have marked it in the same way as the MSS. do[q]

[q There is probably also a corruption in the words [x] which precede the lacuna. One might conjecture [x], but this must remain uncertain till new MSS. can be procured.].

Sometimes old omissions have been supplied by the transcribers, but not always successfully. Rv. 1, 99, 1. all the MSS. in explaining [x] read [x], thus making [x] an accusative plural, while it ought to be the genitive singular, and therefore [x]. That [x] is indeed nothing but a conjecture of the copyists, becomes clear when we see that A. 2. has [x], thus marking an old omission in the original MS. from which it was copied, without any attempt to correct it. Such blanks occur most frequently in A. 2., and in some cases evidently because the MS. from which it was copied was worn off at the margin, so that the blanks return always at regular intervals, that is to say, always at the end of a line of the original MS. Yet although in many other respects too, the A. MSS. exhibit the best authenticated reading, yet it is impossible to consider either B. or C. as descending from A, on account of the omissions, additions, and mistakes which are peculiar to each of the three classes of MSS., and have never found their way from one class into another. What I had to do therefore as an editor was first to find, by a collation of the different copies of each class of MSS., the reading of each of the three principal classes, and afterwards to choose that reading which, by weighing the authority of the three classes, and by taking into account the whole style of Sayana, seemed to be the most authentic. Considering, however, that this edition of the Commentary is not only a critical work, but at the same time destined to be useful for studying the Veda, I have never carried these critical principles so far as to leave a corruption in the text, which, though it might rest upon the authority of the best MSS., was still so evident, that any body, if acquainted with the rules of the Sanskrit language, would have seen it, and, if conversant with the style of Sayana, would have safely corrected it. I have even added some few passages, which though they belonged only to one class of MSS., B. or C[r]

[r Rv. 1, 1, 1. (p. 44.) the quotation [x] etc., on the change of [x] into [x], belongs only to the B. MSS., yet I have not suppressed it, as it seemed to be useful. Dr. E. Roer, who had begun an edition of Sayana's Commentary in Calcutta, (the first two Lectures of the Samhita of the Rig-veda, in the Bibliotheca Indica, fasciculus 1-4. Calcutta, 1848,) but who, on hearing of my edition, has kindly given up his own plan, and published instead his excellent edition of the Vrihadaranyaka, has left out this passage, either because B. MSS. were not procurable at Calcutta, or because he followed different principles of criticism in his edition. Again, Rv. 1, 23, 1. the explanation of [x] occurs only in the C. MSS., and it is evident, from the quotation of the Manorama, that this passage could not come from the hands of Sayana: yet I thought it necessary not to suppress it on account of the accent. If [x] were formed after Un. S. II.29, we should expect it to be a paroxytone; but it is formed by [x], and not by [x], in the same way as [x] and [x], which are also oxytones. Dr. Roer gives the explanation of [x], but with some slight differences, which must be at Calcutta, or because he followed different peculiar to his own MSS.],

yet seemed to be useful where they stood. So that I may safely assert, that whatever good was to be found in the MSS. will be found in this edition, while much that was faulty in them has been corrected.

The laws of Sandhi and other euphonic laws I have endeavoured to observe in the same way as they have been practically carried out in the best Sanskrit MSS., considering it necessary, in a work like that of Sayana, to avoid the innovations of European, as well as the antiquated subtleties of Indian grammarians. I have also followed the custom of the MSS., which sometimes suspend very properly the laws of Sandhi in order to avoid certain combinations of words, by which either single words or the structure of whole sentences might become obscure and doubtful. In this manner the Sandhi becomes for the Sanscrit what punctuation is for other languages, only it is as difficult to lay down general laws for the one as for the other.

I have now only to mention those works which I made use of for verifying the quotations in Sayana's Commentary. There is first of all Panini, whose grammatical rules are most frequently quoted by Sayana, sometimes at full length, sometimes only with a few words by way of reference[s]

[s I must mention here one expression of Sayana's, which occurs very frequently, but has given rise to doubts, and is, as it seems, not yet understood rightly. There are two rules of Panini's, consisting of the words [x]; the one (VI. I, 198.) teaches that a vocative case has the accent on the first syllable; the other (VIII. I. 19.) restricts this rule, by saying that if a vocative be preceded by another word, and do not stand at the beginning of a Pada, it has no accent at all. In order to distinguish between these two rules, Sayana calls the accent prescribed by the former rule, which occurs in the sixth Ashtaka,[x]; while the suppression of the accent, as prescribed by the latter rule in the eighth Ashtaka, is called by him [x] or [x]; [x] and [x] can therefore, as far as I can see, have no other meaning than "occurring in the sixth and occurring in the eighth Ashtaka:" yet I find that, for some reason or other, Dr. Weber (in his edition of the Vajasaneyi-samhita, p. 7. lin. 6.) quotes Pan. VI. 1, 198. as the reference to [x], where the effect of this rule is distinctly said to be [x]. Sayana uses also [x] in the same sense, as applied to a rule occurring in the fourth Ashtaka of Panini: cf. Rv. 1, 84, 14, where the rule intended by the Commentator is in fact to be found in the fourth Ashtaka of Panini, IV. 2, 86; so that I have no doubt that Dr. Weber's quotation is to be considered as a misprint.].

I have derived great advantage for verifying and understanding these technical rules from Professor Bohtlingk's edition of Panini, which, whatever may be said against some parts of it, is a most excellent and meritorious work. In the quotation of rules I have seldom had occasion to differ from his edition, and where I have done so, it has only been after mature consideration. In the quotation of the Varttikas also I have followed Professor Bohtlingk's edition, though it is to be regretted that he has left out many of them. These, however, could easily be found in the Calcutta edition of Panini, though for some of them I was obliged to have recourse to the Mahabhashya. In order to make this edition more useful, I have been induced to add the references from Panini in the first Adhyayas, but afterwards I have done so only whenever a new rule was quoted for the first time. Professor Bohtlingk (now Counsellor of State to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia) could not render a more valuable service to Sanskrit philology, than by publishing a second and complete edition of Panini and his Commentaries, a work for which he must possess at present the most ample materials.

Two other collections of grammatical Sutras which are quoted by Sayana are the Unadi-sutras and the Phit-sutras of Santanacharya. Both of them form part of the Siddhanta-kaumudi, as published at Calcutta, 1811, but they have been edited with much less care than Panini's Sutras. They have been reprinted in the Memoires de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg, 1843 and 1844, by Professor Bohtlingk, but require, particularly the Unadi-sutras, a careful collation of MSS. and the help of commentaries. I have quoted the Sutras after Professor Bohtlingk's text, as being more accessible than the edition of the Siddhanta-kaumudi; but I have been continually obliged to have recourse to the MSS. and Commentaries of the Unadi-sutras[t].

[t The MS. from which I have derived the greatest use is the Unadivritti, by Uijvaladatta, a work which has been composed after a careful collation of old MSS. and Commentaries. It frequently points out words and sutras as being of later origin, and as not occurring in old Commentaries. In our printed editions some Sutras are left out, others mixed with the Commentary; some are incomplete, others incorrect; and the meaning and formation of words are frequently mistaken. I merely mention this here to point out how unsafe it would be to make use of our present editions for lexicographic purposes; but I shall soon have an opportunity of returning to this subject, when examining the historical value of this and other works previous to Panini.]

A fourth grammatical work quoted by Sayana is the Dhatupatha. Of this work we have a most excellent edition by Professor Westergaard of Copenhagen, at the end of his Radices Linguae Sanscritae. I have quoted it only a few times, as it is very easy to find Sayana's quotations with the help of Prof. Westergaard's Radices. Sayana has himself written a Commentary on the Dhatupatha, before he wrote his Commentary on the Veda, and has frequently readings peculiar to himself, which he has defended in his Commentary[u]

[u Sayana quotes his Dhatuvritti, Rv. 1, 42, 7. 1, 51, 8. 1, 82. 1. etc.],

and which Prof. Westergaard also has generally mentioned in his edition.

Another work frequently used by Sayana for explaining the Veda is Yaska's Nirukta. This work existed only in manuscript when I began to print Sayana's Commentary, and as the greater part of the Nirukta is contained in Sayana's works, I was obliged to copy and analyse it, in order to verify Sayana's quotations. For though, with the help of the Sarvanukrama, all the passages from the Veda which are explained by Yaska may be traced back to their places in the text by referring to the Commentary on the Nirukta, where the Devata and Rishi of each passage are given, yet it is very difficult, vice versa, to find always the place in the Nirukta where a passage of the Veda has been explained by Yaska; still more so when only a few words out of Yaska's explanations are quoted by Sayana. In the course of carrying this first volume through the press, a very correct edition of the Nirukta has been published by my learned friend Profesor Roth in Germany. Prof. Roth had kindly informed me beforehand which of the two recensions of the Nirukta he would follow in his edition, and I am glad to find that consequently the references which I have always given, when the Nirukta is quoted by Sayana, coincide with his edition. In some few places Sayana quotations from Yaska do not exactly correspond with the text of the Nirukta; but this is probably owing to Sayana's manner of quoting, which, as I have mentioned before, is generally done from memory. Although these differences were very slight, yet I could not, in accordance with the principles of my edition, take it upon myself to correct them. I have not added references to Sayana's quotations from the Nighantus, because these lists of Vaidik words are already arranged systematically under different heads, and thus require no further reference.

The same applies to Sayana's quotations from Katyayana's Sarvanukrama. I have myself compared every passage quoted from this Index of the authors, deities, metres, etc. of each hymn. But as this Index follows exactly the same order as the hymns of the Rig-veda, it would have been useless to add the references. In those cases also where Sayana quotes from the Sarvanukrama certain rules on metre and other subjects contained in the Paribhasha, I have abstained from giving the references, because this Introduction to Katyayana's Sarvanukrama is likewise so well arranged, and so short, that it is as easy to find a reference as to find the quotation itself.

Another author whom Sayana quotes most frequently with regard to the Vaidik ceremonial is Asvalayana. There are twelve books of Srauta-sutras, and four books of Grihya-sutras, none of them as yet published. Sayana quotes these Sutras continually, whenever a hymn or part of a hymn of the Rig-veda occurs which is to be employed by the Hotri-priests at a certain act of a sacrifice. Now if, like the Sutras to the Yajur-veda, the Sutras of Asvahlayana followed the same order as the hymns, it would not have been difficult to find Sayana's quotations in the MSS. of Asvalayana's Sutras, and it would scarcely have been necessary to give a reference to each of Sayana's quotations from Asvalayana. But the Rig-veda has preserved its old arrangement and its genuine form, and has not been supplanted by a Hotri-veda, or a prayer-book for the Hotri-priests; such as the Yajur-veda is for the Adhvaryu-priests, and the Sama-veda for the Udgatri-priests. If, like these two so-called ceremonial Vedas, the Rig-veda also consisted only of such passages as are requisite for the Brahmanic sacrifices, arranged in the same order as they have to be recited by the Hotri-priests at different ceremonies, the order of the hymns and of the Sutras, and probably also of the Brahmanas, would be the same. But, as it is, the Rig-veda represents to us the old collection of sacred poetry, as it has been handed down by tradition in different Vaidik families, each of which claimed a certain number of ancient poets (Rishis) as their own. The poems therefore which have been incorporated in the Rig-veda-samhita are arranged according to the old families to which the poets of certain songs are said to have belonged, and consequently those passages which in later times were selected as most appropriate to be employed at the grand sacrifices by the Hotri-priests, are found scattered about in different parts of this old collection. Sayana, who of course knew Asvalayana's Sutras by heart, quotes these Sutras whenever one of those verses occurs which Asvalayana has prescribed for any one of the different sacrifices. But all that Sayana adds, to enable one who has not learnt by heart these sixteen books of ceremonial Sutras, to find their place in Asvalayana, consists in mentioning the name of the particular part of the ceremonial, and sometimes in giving the beginning of the chapter where a certain Sutra occurs.

By the help of Indices, however, I have succeeded in verifying these passages also, and I have always added the book and chapter where Sayana's quotations are to be found in Asvalayana's work. If, in the passages which Sayana quotes from the Brahmanas, he had restricted himself to the Brahmanas of the Rig-veda, I should have added references to these quotations also. But as Sayana takes his quotations promiscuously from all the Brahmanas, whether connected with the Rig-veda or the Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, and Atharva-veda, I determined rather to give no references whatever for these Brahmana passages than to do it incompletely[x].

[x It is not only on account of the vastness of the Brahmana literature that I found it impossible to verify every quotation, but there are many Brahmanas of which there are not even MSS. to be procured in any of the European libraries. Some seem lost even in India, and are only known by name. With regard to the Brahmanas of the Sama-veda, I had stated, in a letter to my friend Professor Benfey at Gottingen, that there are eight. Prof. Benfey has kindly mentioned this in the Preface to his edition of the Sama-veda; and as Dr. Weber has lately published some observations with regard to Prof. Benfeys' and Mr. Colebrooke's statements on the Brahmana literature of the Sama-veda, I owe it to Prof. Benfey and to myself to make good my assertion. Sayana, in his Commentary on the Samavidhana-Brahmana, says:

"There are eight Brahmanas; the Pradha is the first Brahmana, (this means the large Brahmana, Pancavinsa, not prodha as Dr. W. writes); the one called Shadvinsa or Shadvinsad-Brahmana is the second; then follows the Samavidhi; then the Arsheya-Brahmana, the Devatadhyaya-Brahmana, and the Upanishat. These with the Sanhitopanishad and the Vansa are called the eight books. In the great Brahmana and the Shadvinsa the principal sacrifices, the Ekaha, Ahina, and Satras, have been taught by which persons, fit for offering sacrifices, may obtain life in heaven and other rewards. Now, in the third Brahmana, called Samavidhana, other hymns will be enjoined, etc." This, I hope, will be sufficient to vindicate my assertion; for nothing is more likely to bring Vaidik studies into discredit than mere assertions and ingenious conjectures, of which I am sorry to say we have had already a great number even in print.]

Besides there was the difficulty that these Brahmanas and Aranyakas, which as yet exist only in manuscript, are not always divided in the same manner; so that if I had adapted my references to the MSS., they might perhaps not have been found in accordance with the editions of several of the Brahmanas which are now preparing for publication. In many instances I have derived great help from the original MSS. of the Brahmanas, particularly as Sayana's quotations from these works are generally full of mistakes, arising from old Vaidik forms, which the transcribers did not know and understand. Frequently, however, I found also that real differences existed between a passage as quoted by Sayana and the text as exhibited in the Brahmanas, which can only be accounted for by the supposition that Sayana used some Brahmanas in a Sakha different from that which as accessible to me in manuscript.

I have only to express, in conclusion, my sincere thanks for the instruction, the advice, the encouragement, and assistance which I have received, in the course of my studies, from those distinguished Oriental scholars whose lectures I have followed at the Universities of Leipzig, Berlin, and Paris, as well as from those whom I met with there, and with whom I became connected by the ties of kindred pursuits and friendship. To mention the liberality with which foreigners are admitted to the rich collections of the National Library at Paris, the Library of the East-India-House in London, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford, would only be repeating what is known to all who have had occasion to consult these Libraries. Yet this ought not to prevent me from acknowledging the personal obligation under which I feel myself towards M. Hase, M. Reinaud and M. Munk at the National Library at Paris, and towards the Rev. Dr. Bandinel and the Rev. H. O. Coxe at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, for the kindness which I have received at their hands during my studies at Paris and Oxford. Private collections also of Sanskrit MSS. have been freely thrown open to me, in France by Professor Burnouf, in England by the Rev. Dr. Mill; and I avail myself of this opportunity to return my thanks to both of these eminent Oriental scholars. I have also thankfully to acknowledge the kind assistance of my learned friend Dr. Ch. Rieu at the British Museum, by whose careful corrections many misprints and mistakes have been removed, which, notwithstanding the great accuracy and ability of the compositor employed on the present volume, could scarcely be avoided in so extensive a work. Above all, however, my thanks are due to Professor H. H. Wilson. It would be presumptuous on my part were I to speak of his unequalled achievements in different branches of Oriental philology. But it would be ungrateful were I not to acknowledge the kindness with which he has assisted me in my undertaking. To his recommendation I owe the liberal patronage which the Honourable the Court of Directors of the East-India-Company have bestowed upon this work, and without which its publication would scarcely have been possible. While I was preparing this edition his books and manuscripts were at my disposal; whenever I wanted advice, he was ready to give it; and he has even given his valuable time to correct the press. The English translation of the Rig-veda by Professor Wilson, which is soon to appear, will be a new proof of the interest which he has taken in this work. To have been allowed to enjoy his acquaintance, and to avail myself of his instruction, will always be to me the best compensation for what I have lost in living so long away from my own country and my old friends.

M. M.
October 1849.
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Re: Rig-Veda-Samhita, by Max Dr. Max Muller

Postby admin » Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:39 am






The principles followed in the first volume in editing the hymns of the Rig-veda, and in restoring the text of Sayana's Commentary, have been strictly adhered to in the second. My own conviction and the approval of those best competent to judge have not allowed me to adopt a different course, although others have thought Sayana's Commentary undeserving a critical edition, and the time that has been expended on it. Yet, perhaps neither the age nor the country of an author can justly be pleaded as an excuse for disregarding those rules of critical scholarship which in classical philology have been ratified by the experience of the last three centuries; and though I feel obliged to apologize for the consequent delay in the publication of this second volume, I should be more sorry if I had now to publish it without the conviction that all sources available for the restoration of the text had been fully exhausted.

The MSS. of the Samhita and Pada texts of the hymns have been the same for the second as for the first volume, and therefore require no further notice.

The case differs with the MSS. of Sayana's commentary. For the first Ashtaka I was able almost always to determine the original reading of each of the three families of MSS. by a comparison of the different members belonging to each; and it was found that in all important passages the readings of the three families, A, B, and C, could be so easily balanced that it rarely remained doubtful which of the three had to give way before the others. On this account it seemed to me unnecessary to publish the Varietas Lectionis for the first Ashtaka; and, with the exception of a few inaccuracies which really seem to be unavoidable in the course of editing so voluminous a work, I have not met, in the many excellent reviews of this edition of the Rig-veda, with any remarks which could on this point have changed my opinion.

In the second Ashtaka, however, this course could be no longer followed. When I began the printing of the second Ashtoka, to represent the A class I had only one MS. instead of three, and this again was defective to such an extent that it could hardly be used for more than half of the second book. The MSS. of the B class were the same as for the first Ashtaka; and I had even received a new copy from Bombay, which I call B. 3. This, however, proved of little use, as it was but a new transcript of the same original from which Professor Burnouf 's MS. had been taken. It could not have been copied from B. 1., because this MS. was already in my hands when the new copy was made in India. There can be no doubt, however, that it was copied from a copy of B. 1. Most likely the Pandit who parted with his old MS. (B. 1.) had a transcript made before he sold the original, and this transcript was copied in B. 3. With regard to the C. MSS. it will be seen that three only out of the seven contain the second Ashtaka complete.

Under these circumstances it became impossible to determine with certainty the original reading of each of the three families; nay, for many passages the text of one or even two families was lost beyond recovery. Besides, almost all the MSS. of the second and the following Ashtakas seem to have been less frequently studied in India, and therefore less carefully corrected, than the first Ashtaka. The principal difficulty, however, arose from the defective state of A. 2., because the text of the A. class is throughout the whole commentary by far the most authentic, and had been the principal authority for my edition. Before the first Ashtaka was finished I had therefore written to India to obtain a new MS. for the second. After waiting, however, for a considerable time, I received the news that the MS. which Dr. Roer had procured for me at Calcutta had been lost by shipwreck. Not wishing to retard the publication of the second volume still longer, I began to print with the MSS. then at hand. Most fortunately, in the course of carrying the second Ashtaka through the press, a new MS. was forwarded from India by Dr. Ballantyne, the distinguished Principal of the Sanskrit College at Benares. It was sent to Professor Wilson, and he most kindly presented it to me. It is a complete copy of Sayana's commentary, and, as far as I know, the most ancient MS. of this author in Europe. The first Ashtaka contains 648 leaves, but has no date. The second has 260, the third 398, the fourth 312 leaves. At the end of this Ashtaka the following date is given: [x] This is Samvat 1624 or A.D. 1568. The fifth Ashtaka has 237, the sixth 264 leaves, the last containing again a date; [x] This is therefore a year earlier, 1623 Samvat or 1567 A.D. In the seventh Ashtaka, which contains 274, and in the eighth, which contains 322 leaves, the last leaves on which the date is usually marked, are lost. We may therefore ascribe this copy to the years 1566 and 1567. The oldest MS. which I had used before was that of the first Ashtaka at the National Library in Paris (A. 1.), which bears the date Samvat 1625 or 1569 a. d. Colebrooke's MS. (A. 2.) was dated between 1747 and 1760 A.D.; and fragments of the commentary to the first Ashtaka at the Royal Library in Berlin (A. 3.) exhibit their date as Samvat 1664 and 1665, which is 1608-1609 A.D. As all the other MSS. of Sayana's commentary are still more modern, this last arrived MS., now in my possession, is therefore the oldest in Europe.

But though it is the oldest MS., it does not, as I expected, belong to the A. class. On comparing it with the other MSS. I found that it belongs to class C., and may in fact be considered as the prototype of all the C. MSS. This would by itself have made this copy extremely valuable. Its value, however, was further increased when I found that in the second Ashtaka considerable portions had been most carefully compared and corrected after a MS. belonging to the A. class. If it had not been for the modern date of Colebrooke's copy, I should have said that the collation had been taken from this very MS. (A. 2.). As it is, we must suppose that the Benares MS. was collated with an older A. MS., whence afterwards Colebrooke's copy was taken. As these collations and corrections, which are very numerous, were made in the usual Indian manner, by covering the original text with yellow orpiment and writing the various reading over it, or on the margin, it was possible in many cases to use this MS. as an authority not only for the C. but also for the A. class; a discovery which makes this MS. invaluable, particularly for the second Ashtaka, where the text of the A. MSS. was frequently lost altogether. As to the C. MSS. they are all, though not immediately, derived from this copy, but before it had been corrected by a collation with an A. MS. This can be proved from accidental mistakes and indistinct corrections which occur in this MS., and have afterwards found their way into all the C. MSS. I suppose therefore that this (my own MS. from Benares) had been repeatedly transcribed there before it was collated with an A. MS.; that one of these transcripts was brought to Calcutta, and that from it most, if not all, of the C. MSS. were taken at Calcutta. Certain it is that C. 1., C. 2., and C. 3. came from Calcutta, and large portions, which were copied for me from a MS. belonging to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, contain literally the same text as the other C. MSS. There are readings, however, which are peculiar to the C. copies, and which do not occur in my Benares MS. Some are found in one or two of the C. copies only. These are either accidental mistakes or occasional conjectures, which, after finding their way into one copy, were afterwards repeated by successive transcribers. They are useful as indicating the exact relationship of some of the C. MSS., but they can never claim any diplomatic authority. There is another class of various readings which run through all the C. MSS., but which have no guarantee in the old Benares C. They deserve a more careful consideration, for they are evidently old errors, or possibly old corrections. In passages where the C.'s agree among themselves, but differ from the Benares C., this generally agrees with A. These C. readings therefore, as they do not proceed from the Benares C., are in reality only later alterations of the original A. text. Though I have hardly ever adopted the readings of the C's, where they differ from the A.'s and the Benares C., I have inserted them in the Varietas Lectionis, because occasionally they seem to contain useful conjectures. Thus Rv. II. 6, 4 (p. 445. l. 10 [now vol. ii. p. 19. l. 14]) Ca has [x]; the same mistake occurs in A., while all the C.'s have the correct reading [x]. It also happens, as has been shown in the preface to the first volume, that passages originally wanting in the C. family have been supplied from other sources. In this manner C. and A. readings have been mixed up together in one and the same copy, particularly in Dr. Mill's, so as to cause considerable confusion in some parts of Sayana's work. In later portions of the commentary some of the C.'s cease to be C.'s, and become A.'s, owing to the writer having changed the original from which he copied.

By this new MS., which in its original text I count with the C., in its corrections with the A. MSS., while if it has to be quoted by itself, it will be marked Ca, the apparatus criticus became much simplified. The various readings of the C. MSS. have no longer any authority by themselves, but only so far as they agree with the original C. before it was collated. The text of the A. MSS. is supplied by Ca, whĕre the A.'s are wanting, and confimed where they and the corrections in Ca agree.

It might be asked, why, if the A. MSS. agree with the corrected text of Ca, the whole family of the A.'s should not rather be considered as branching off from Ca, after the general text of the C. family was corrected as we find it in Ca, and why the alterations in Ca should not be taken for independent corrections made by the writer of Ca, instead of being gleaned from a collation with an A. MS.? On all important points the A. MSS. agree with the corrected Ca; and on minor points it is impossible to deny that slight differences could as well be ascribed to the several copyists of the A. MSS. There are passages, however, which make it impossible to entertain this supposition: Rv. II. 9, 3, for instance, [x] in Ca has been corrected into [x]. Here the C. MSS. have [x], because they were copied from Ca before it was corrected. But A. also has [x]. This by itself might be a mistake of the copyist of A.; but this peculiar mistake is not likely to have happened if A. had been copied from Ca, where this very mistake had already been very distinctly emendated. I have selected this passage for another purpose also. It shows that occasionally corrections are made in Ca which cannot be traced back to A. They generally refer to such palpable errors, as for instance [x] instead of [x]; and in these cases it is clear that the intelligent writer of Ca was guided by his own judgment without looking to the authority of any MS. In order to prove that A. was copied from Ca, it would be necessary to point out passages where corrections in Ca had been misread by the writer of A. This happens not unfrequently with the C. MSS. Alterations made by the original writer of Ca were mistaken by the later copyists, and these mistakes are occasionally of such a character that they could only have happened with the very leaf of Ca. before the eyes of the copyist. Now I have not been able to find any evidence of this kind against the A. MSS. Quite at the beginning of the second Ashtaka, for instance (p. I. l. 9 [now vol. i. p. 551. l. 7]). Ca reads [x] The writer seeing that he had left out [x] between [x], made a mark at the top of [x] and wrote [x] on the margin. The copyist of the first C. MS. mistook this mark for a vowel, and without looking to the margin wrote [x]. A. however has [x]. The same happened Rv. II. 6, 4, where Ca had [x]. This the original writer himself corrected into [x], only that the space did not allow him to do more than to make a mark at the top of [x], and to draw a slight line between [x] and [x]. The copyist of C. mistook this for [x], which henceforth became the reading of the C. MSS. Indeed it looks very much like [x] in Ca. A. however reads [x]. Rv. I. 181, 8 (p. 366. l. 24 [now vol. i. p. 765. l. 18]) Ca had originally [x]. Accordingly all the C's read [x]. A. however has [x], and from it the correction is made in Ca, where, subsequent to the taking of the first C. copy, the [x] was covered with yellow, and changed into [x]. [x]: is evidently an old mistake, because it occurs in B. also. Rv. III. 1, 3 (p. 626. l. 14 [now vol. ii. p. 127. l. 28]) the C. MSS. have [x], thus leaving out two lines. The omission was originally made by the writer of Ca, but afterwards supplied on the margin from A. That it was not supplied from B., but from A., can be proved by the words [x], which are not in B., but in A. only. At the beginning of the third Ashtaka (Rv. III. 7, 1) the invocation in Ca is simply [x] etc. It is the same in the C's. A. 2. has [x] etc. The B's have [x]; only B. (Taylor) has a slight correction [x] etc. Coincidences of this kind though they may seem irrelevant are really the most convincing. Again, Rv. III. 7, 1 (p. 661. l. 7 [now vol. ii. p. 149. l. 5]) A. 2. has [x] while Ca and the C.'s have the right reading [x]. In the same verse (p. 662. l. 3 [now p. 149. l. 18]) A. 2. has [x]; Ca and the C.'s coincide in giving [x]. Rv. III. 7, 2 (p. 663. l. II [now vol. ii. p. 150. l. 14]) Ca has [x] instead of the more primitive reading [x], which is in A. 2. and B. The C's have again [x] like Ca. As no case of this kind can be made out against A., it is necessary to regard the corrections in Ca as collations from a MS. which was connected with the A. class. How A. and Ca came originally to differ, is hard to say. But as it is impossible to account for the text of the one simply as a corruption of the other, A. and Ca must be considered as two branches diverging from the original stock of Sayana's work which is lost to us. A. and Ca are coordinate, not subordinate, though A. stands higher than Ca. B. also stands independent from A. and Ca. The C. MSS. on the contrary are subordinate to Ca, or, as in later portions of the commentary, to A., and must therefore be discarded where the evidence for a reading has to be weighed by the authority of MSS. Even in cases where the C. MSS., particularly C. 2. and C. 5., contain large portions of the commentary which are taken from an A. MS., they are of very little use for restoring the original text of A., except occasionally in the second Ashtaka where A. 2. is defective. Here C. 5. (Wilson 74) has sometimes supplied the deficiency, but the modern date and general incorrectness of this MS. hardly allow us even then to ascribe much weight to its readings.

If we compare the three MSS., A., Ca, and the C.'s at the beginning of the second Ashtaka, it will be seen that they always confirm our view of their mutual relationship even in the most minute points. In [x] (p. I. l. 2 [now vol. i. p. 551. l. 3]) Ca had left out the Visarga, and it is wanting in the C.'s. It was afterwards added in Ca, above the line, [x], and it stands above the line in A. also. P. I. l. 6 [now p. 551. l. 5] Ca had [x] instead of [x]. [x] became the reading of the C.'s, while in Ca it was altered into [x] which is the reading of A. P. I. l. 7 [now p. 551. l. 6] Ca had [x], which was corrected by the writer himself (not secunda manu or with yellow orpiment) into [x]. This correction was therefore adopted by the C.'s, and it is also the reading of A. P. I. l. 8 [now p. 551. l. 7] Ca had [x]; one of the vowels was afterwards covered with yellow. The C. MSS. therefore read [x]; A. has [x]. P. I. l. 9 [now p. 551. l. 7] we read in Ca [x]. The C. MSS. adopt this as [x], while in Ca it is corrected into [x] as it stands in A. P. I. l. 10 [now p. 551. l. 8] [x] in Ca was left out, and added on the margin. It is wanting in the C.'s. P. I. l. II [now p. 551. l. 8] Ca had [x]. Here the copyist of the first C. MS. must have corrected the mistake, which was indeed very palpable, for the C's read [x], which is also in Ca, but as a correction. P. I. l. II [now p. 551. l. 9] Ca had [x]. Thus the C.'s have [x]. Ca was afterwards corrected into [x], but in such a manner that none but a learned copyist could have made out the correction. A. however has the right reading. P. I. l. 17 [now p. 551. l. 14] Ca had [c], which became the reading of the C.'s. In Ca it was altered into [x], by putting [x] over [x], and [x] over [x], and covering part of [x] with yellow. A. has distinctly [x]. Again (l. 18 [now 15]) after [x], [x] is left out in Ca, and added from A. in the margin. It is wanting in the C.'s. Afterwards Ca had originally [x]. This was, not at all distinctly, corrected into [x], which is the reading of A. But the old mistake remained in the C.'s. After [x] (l. 19 [now 15]), [x] is left out in Ca and C.; it was added in Ca from A. P. 2. l. I [now p. 551. l. 16], [x] Ca and C.; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. P. 2. l. 3 [now p. 551. l. 17], [x] Ca and C.; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. P. 2. l. 5 [now p. 551. l 19], [x] Ca. The i in [x] is covered with yellow in Ca, so that one should expect [x], in the C.'s, instead of which they have the correct reading [x]. On looking more closely, however, we find that the i, before it was covered with yellow, was already struck out with ink prima manu, which accounts for the adoption of the corrected reading in the C.'s. P. 2. l. 5 [now p. 551. l. 19], [x] Ca and C; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. P. 2. l. 6 [now p. 551. l. 19], [x] Ca and C; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. Ibidem [now l. 20], [x] Ca; [x] C. The text of Ca is corrected into [x], but in such a confused way, that the writer of A. could hardly have got his correct text [x] from Ca. P. 2. l. 8 [now p. 551. l. 21], [x] Ca and C; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. P. 2. l. 9 [now p. 551. l. 22], [x] Ca and C.; [x] Ca and A.; both sec. man. P. 2. l. 10 [now p. 551. l. 22], [x]: Ca. C; [x] Ca sec. man. and A. P. 2. l. 10 [nowp. 551. l. 22] [x] Ca.C; [x] Ca sec man. and A. P. 2. l. 10 [now p. 551. l. 23], [x] Ca. C; [x] Ca sec. man. and A.

These are the various readings for one verse only. I have given them in full, partly to show that they confirm my view of the relation of the MSS. in the minutest detail, partly to convince those, who are so eager for a complete Varietas Lectionis, of the entire uselessness of such a compilation.

There is one more MS. of Sayana (Aa) which has come to hand since the publication of the first volume, and which, though rarely quoted in the Varietas Lectionis, deserves to be mentioned here. It was sent to me as a present by Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall of Benares, to whose zealous exertions Sanskrit literature is already greatly indebted. Unfortunately it is but a fragment, beginning with the twenty- seventh Varga of the third Adhyaya of the third Ashtaka, and ending at the end of the third Ashtaka. But it is of great importance in so far as it served to confirm those principles of diplomatic criticism on which all the other MSS. of Sayana had been previously classified, and according to which their respective weight and authority had been determined. Its title is [x]. This shows that its age is exactly the same as that of Ca; Samvat 1624 or A.D. 1568. Its readings would therefore have had considerable weight whether they coincided with any of the three classes or not. But on a close examination it was found that not a single reading, not even a mistake, occurred in this MS. which was not known already from the A. MSS. Nay, I feel almost convinced that Colebrooke's A. MS. was copied directly from the fragment which is now in my possession. Rv. IV. 2, 13 (vol. iii. p. 18 [now vol. ii. p. 351]) the whole explanation of the thirteenth verse had been left out in Aa, but was afterwards added so as to cover the whole margin, not without giving rise to many ambiguities by the indistinctness of the letters. All these ambiguous letters are reproduced with the greatest exactness in Colebrooke's MS., where the explanation stands no longer in the margin, but forms part of the commentary. A still clearer case occurs Rv. IV. 4, 4 (vol. iii. p. 35 [now vol. ii. p. 360]). Here also the commentary on verse 4 had been left out in Aa, and been supplied as far as the space allowed on the margin. We have first two long lines at the top of the page. After this the text is continued on the margin of the right side, then on the margin of the left, and one line is placed under the last line of the text. I give as exact a copy of it as possible:

This is reproduced in Colebrooke's MS. (A 2) In the following manner:

If we compare the readings of the two MSS., and remember that both came from Benares, there can hardly be a doubt that the latter (A. 2.) was copied directly from Aa. It is clear that the writer of Colebrooke's MS. was misled by the marginal notes of Aa, that he left out all that was written on the right margin, and went on from the end of the second line to the third line on the left margin. After having proceeded to the end of the verse he became aware of his mistake, and then added the whole omitted passage on the margin. This is nearly convincing. But there are other points to show that A. 2. is a direct descendant of Aa. The [x] in [x] is very indistinct in Aa; a blank is left in A. 2. The [x] in [x] looks, according to Aa's style of writing, very much like [x]; A. 2. has [x]. In [x] the Virama under [x] is covered in Aa by the fit of the next line; the writer of A. 2. did not perceive this, and thus altered [x] into [x]. In Aa the marked [x] in the fourth line is meant as a correction of the marked [x] in the third. The writer of A. 2. began his marginal notes with the fourth line, mistook the third as an addition to come in after the marked [x], and thus wrote [x] instead of [x]. [x] in Aa would look exactly like [x] to one not familiar with the peculiar style of writing used in these marginal notes; in A. 2. we find [x]. Other coincidences between Aa and A. 2. recquire no explanation. The only real difference between the two is [x] in A. 2 instead of [x] in Aa; a mistake evidently produced by the distraction of the writer, and the omission of the passage between [x] and [x]. This will be sufficient to show that Aa is really the prototype of the A. MSS., and that therefore, if the whole of this MS. could have been recovered, it would have rendered to the A. class the same service which was rendered to the C. class by Ca.

I cannot conclude this second volume of the Rig-veda without acknowledging my obligation for much useful advice and kind assistance which from many quarters I have continued to receive. Professor Wilson has taken the same active interest in this as in the first part, and there is not a sheet that has not received the benefit of his careful perusal. The present volume has not indeed had the advantage of Dr. Rieu's revision, to whom much of the praise bestowed on the correctness of the press in the first is due. But in the latter portion of this volume I have been able to avail myself of the assistance and active cooperation of my learned friend Dr. Aufrecht of Berlin, and the benefit hence derived cannot be too highly valued. I may hope that by his continued assistance I shall be able to bring this edition to an end in a much shorter time than I at first expected. Dr. Ballantyne of Benares, Dr. Roer of Calcutta, Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall of Benares, and lately Mr. Walter Elliott of Vizagapatam, have all in the most obliging manner assisted me in the execution of my work by the transmission of several most valuable MSS., without which, I fear, I should never have succeeded in accomplishing a work which I commenced without perhaps a full consciousness of all its difficulties. I have been also honoured by that distinguished scholar and noble patron of Sanskrit literature, Raja Radhakanta Deva of Calcutta, with a most valuable present, the Sabda Kalpa Druma, a work which by its comprehensive range and its excellent arrangement stands unrivalled in Indian philology. At Oxford, again, I have had the advantage of the Bodleian Library, where, under the liberal management of Dr. Bandinel, scholars of all countries may avail themselves of the treasures of one of the finest collections in Europe with the same facility as if at work in their own private library.

Nor can any one, perhaps, acknowledge more thankfully than myself the valuable additions lately made to our knowledge of Vaidik literature and antiquities by the combined labours of so many distinguished scholars in India, England, France, and Germany. Many difficulties, against which I had to contend singlehanded in the first volume, have been removed by their publications. On commencing this edition I had first to copy and collate many works continually quoted by Sayana, or otherwise essential to a full comprehension of the Rig-veda. There were then no editions of the other Vedas, of the Nirukta, the Aitareya-brahmana, Asvalayana, and similar works. Yet it would have been impossible to print even the first pages of Sayana's commentary without having to a certain extent established a critical text of these writings. Several have since been published, and their text has been settled with an accuracy greater than the limits of my time allowed me even to aim at in these supplementary treatises. Our comprehension of these works has been considerably facilitated either by translations or by notes and indices. The only works from which assistance could be derived when I commenced this edition were Rosen's first book of the Rig-veda and some valuable essays by Professor Neve and Dr. Kuhn. At present we have Professor Roth's edition of the Nirukta, Professor Benfey's Sama-veda, Dr. Weber's Yajur-veda, valuable treatises on the Grihya-sutras by Professor Stenzler, useful indices to the Vedas by Messrs. Pertsch and Whitney, and last, not least, the first specimen of Vaidik lexicography by Roth. Many obscure points in the earliest literature of India have received new light in the first and second volumes of Lassen's classical work on Indian Antiquities. Names formerly known to few have become familiar to all through the indefatigable industry of Dr. Weber. On the whole an entirely new direction has been given to Sanskrit philology, and during the last six years the Vaidik has received greater attention than any other period of Sanskrit literature.

But since the publication of the first volume of the Rig-veda we have suffered one irreparable loss. The death of Eugene Burnouf has deprived Sanskrit philology of one of its chief supporters, of one of its greatest ornaments. His loss will be long felt in different departments of Oriental learning, where his name is associated with some of the most brilliant discoveries of our age; — nowhere longer and more keenly than among the friends and students of Sanskrit literature. Of Burnouf's works I need not here speak. As the first scientific decipherer of the Cuneiform inscriptions, he has erected to himself a monument more lasting than the mountain-records of Persia. As the first Pali scholar and the historian of Buddhism, his fame will not easily be surpassed by future researches. As the first editor and interpreter of the Zend-avesta, his memory will endure so long as the human race values the traditions of its early childhood. But Burnouf's key to all these discoveries was Sanskrit; and in Sanskrit philology, where his influence was most beneficial, his loss is now felt most severely. I do not here allude to the Bhagavat-purana and other monuments of his persevering industry now left unfinished, nor to the works he contemplated, nor to the treasures he had collected. In losing Burnouf, we have lost not only an indefatigable fellow-labourer, not only a disinterested teacher, but a most respected judge; in his approval valued by all, in his censure feared, in his verdict distinguished unfailingly by fairness and by truth. Though he published but little on the Veda, yet I may safely assert — and those with whom I had the benefit of attending his lectures at the College de France, Barthelemy St. Hilaire, Gorresio, Neve, Pavie, Foucaux, Roth, Goldstucker, Bardelli, and many others, will bear me out — that there was not then a scholar in Europe more conversant with the language and the traditions of the Veda than Burnouf. The intimate friend of Rosen, he alone kept up after Rosen's death the tradition of Vaidik studies. He impressed their importance on all who came to study under him, and he proved that for a true appreciation of the early history of mankind, and for a comparative study of the religions of the East, a knowledge of the Veda was indispensable. The new impulse given to Sanskrit philology in that direction, and the subsequent publication of numerous Vaidik works, were due to him; and for my own part I can only repeat, that without Burnouf's advice, encouragement, and assistance, I should never have been able to undertake this edition of the Rig-veda. When I heard of his death I felt— and I believe that many engaged in similar studies shared the feeling— as if our work had lost much of its charm and its purpose. 'What will Burnouf say?' was my earliest thought, on completing the first volume of the Rig-veda. And now as I am finishing the second, in its turn submitted to the judgment of so many scholars whose friendship I value, and whose learning I admire, my thoughts turn to him who is no longer among us, and I think, not without sadness, of what his judgment would have been.

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Re: Rig-Veda-Samhita, by Max Dr. Max Muller

Postby admin » Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:31 am


In laying before the public the third volume of my edition of the Rig-veda and its commentary by Sayanakarya, it gives me much pleasure to acknowledge the increasing interest which of late years has been evinced by the most eminent scholars in England, in India, and on the continent, with regard to these ancient remnants of the sacred poetry of the Brahmans. Their importance for Sanskrit literature had been felt ever since Sir William Jones, Colebrooke, and F. Rosen informed us of their existence, and gave us the first specimens of their contents; and no one acquainted with the later literature of India, the epic poems, the law-books, the systems of philosophy, could fail to see that our knowledge of the historical growth of the Indian mind must remain incomplete until we had gained an insight into that period of literature which precedes Vyasa and Valmiki, Manu and Gaimini, and to which the poets, the lawgivers, and philosophers of India point with common consent as the highest authority for their inspirations, their belief, and their institutions. Sanskrit literature without the Veda was like Greek literature without Homer, like Arabic literature without the Koran, like English without Shakespear.

But as the study of Sanskrit owes its permanent interest chiefly to the fact that the ancient language of India has been proved to be most intimately connected with the classical languages of Europe, and that in it has been found the key to the most secret archives of the history of language in general, the Veda would never have engaged the serious attention of a large class of scholars, if this ancient literary relic had not been found to shed the most unexpected light on the darkest periods in the history of the most prominent nations of antiquity. The religious traditions of the Persians or the Zoroastrians have been traced back to their source in the Veda.

While, not surprisingly, the ordinary generic human contrast between truth and falsehood is found in the Vedas, the specifically Early Zoroastrian form of the ideas, including the result of following one or the other path, is completely alien to them. In the early Vedic religion, ritually correct performance of blood sacrifices was believed to be rewarded in this life, but the reward had nothing to do with one's virtuous actions or one's future in the afterlife. These ideas thus seem to have been introduced by the Achaemenid Persians into eastern Gandhara and Sindh, the western limits of the ancient Indic world and southeastern limits of the Central Asian world, just as they were introduced into Near Eastern parts of the vast Persian Empire. In fact, Early Zoroastrianism is attested in Achaemenid Central Asia and India in the earliest Persian imperial written documents from the region. [Benveniste et al. (1958: 4), based on two inscriptions in Aramaic. Cf. Bronkhorst (2007: 358), who remarks, "In the middle of the third century BC, it was Mazdaism, rather than Brahmanism, which predominated in the region between Kandahar and Taxila". For Bronkhorst's views on Brahmanism and early Magadha, see Endnote ii.]

These specific "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas are firmly rejected by the Buddha in his earliest attested teachings, as shown in Chapter One. In short, the Buddha reacted primarily (if at all) not against Brahmanism, but against Early Zoroastrianism. [Cf. Bronkhorst (1986; 2011: 1-4), q.v. the preceding note. From his discussion it is clear that even the earliest attested Brahmanist texts reflect the influence of Buddhism, so it would seem that the acceptance of Early Zoroastrian ideas in Gandhara happened later than the Buddhist rejection of them, but before the Alexander historians and Megasthenes got there in the late fourth century BC.]...

The religious nature of the rebellion indicates that Zoroastrianism was fairly new, and not firmly established, in the South Iranic world (it was unknown among Scythians and other North Iranic peoples), while Gaumata's support for the worship of the daivas indicates that the Medes followed "unreformed" or "pre-Zoroastrian" Mazdaism, in which there were many gods. [See the discussion by Razmjou (2005: 150-151). The neutral Old Persian word for 'god' is baga. Ahura Mazda is often called in the inscriptions "the greatest god" or "the greatest of gods" (Razmjou 2005: 150-151), but his unique description as the creator of the world and the one who made the victories of Darius possible make it quite clear that he is the traditional monotheistic Heavenly God of the Central Eurasian Culture Complex (Beckwith 2009; 2012b).] In view of the general cultural similarity between the world of the Avestan Gathas and the world of the Rig Veda, as well as the extremely close dialect relationship between the languages of the two texts, it appears that unreformed Mazdaism was the continuation of the ancient West Old Indic-speaking people's belief system, just as the Rig Vedic religion was the continuation of the ancient East Old Indic-speaking people's belief system. Both featured a number of gods, among whom the names of the most important ones -- Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and the Nasatyas -- are attested in both Western Old Indic and Eastern Old Indic.
-- Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter With Early Buddhism in Central Asiam by Christopher I. Beckwith

Many of the most obscure grammatical forms in the arrow-headed inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes have been deciphered by means of the Veda.


Old Persian cuneiform was only deciphered by a series of guesses, in the absence of bilingual documents connecting it to a known language. Various characteristics of sign series, such as length or recurrence of signs, allowed researchers to hypothesize about their meaning, and to discriminate between the various possible historically known kings, and then to create a correspondence between each cuneiform and a specific sound....

Proper attempts at deciphering Old Persian cuneiform started with faithful copies of cuneiform inscriptions, which first became available in 1711 when duplicatas of Darius's inscriptions were published by Jean Chardin. Around 1764, Carsten Niebuhr visited the ruins of Persepolis, and was able to make excellent copies of the inscriptions, identifying "three different alphabets". His faithful copies of the cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis proved to be a key turning-point in the decipherment of cuneiform, and the birth of Assyriology.

The set of characters that would later be known as Old Persian cuneiform, was soon perceived as being the simplest of the various types of cuneiform scripts that has been encountered, and because of this was understood as a prime candidate for decipherment. Niebuhr identified that there were only 42 characters in this category of inscriptions, which he named "Class I", and affirmed that this must therefore be an alphabetic script.

In 1802, Friedrich Münter confirmed that "Class I" characters (today called "Old Persian cuneiform") were probably alphabetical, also because of the small number of different signs forming inscriptions. He proved that they belonged to the Achaemenid Empire, which led to the suggestion that the inscriptions were in the Old Persian language and probably mentioned Achaemenid kings. He identified a highly recurring group of characters in these inscriptions: [x]. Because of its high recurrence and length, he guessed that this must be the word for "king" (which he guessed must be pronounced kh-sha-a-ya-th-i-ya, now known to be pronounced in Old Persian [x]). He guessed correctly, but that would only be known for sure several decades later. Münter also understood that each word was separated from the next by a backslash sign ([x])

Grotefend extended this work by realizing, based on the known inscriptions of much later rulers (the Pahlavi inscriptions of the Sasanian emperors), that a king's name is often followed by "great king, king of kings" and the name of the king's father. This understanding of the structure of monumental inscriptions in Old Persian was based on the work of Anquetil-Duperron, who had studied Old Persian through the Zoroastrian Avestas in India, and Antoine Isaac Silvestre de Sacy, who had decrypted the monumental Pahlavi inscriptions of the Sasanian emperors.

Grotefend focused on two inscriptions from Persepolis, called the "Niebuhr inscriptions", which seemed to use the words "King" and "King of Kings" guessed by Münter, and which seemed to have broadly similar content except for what he thought must be the names of kings:...

Looking at similarities in character sequences, he made the hypothesis that the father of the ruler in one inscription would possibly appear as the first name in the other inscription: the first word in Niebuhr 1 ([x]) indeed corresponded to the 6th word in Niebuhr 2.

Looking at the length of the character sequences, and comparing with the names and genealogy of the Achaemenid kings as known from the Greeks, also taking into account the fact that the father of one of the rulers in the inscriptions didn't have the attribute "king", he made the correct guess that this could be no other than Darius the Great, his father Hystapes, who was not a king, and his son the famous Xerxes. The inscriptions were made around this time; there were only two instances where a ruler came to power without being a previous king's son. They were Darius the Great and Cyrus the Great, both of whom became emperor by revolt. The deciding factors between these two choices were the names of their fathers and sons. Darius's father was Hystaspes and his son was Xerxes, while Cyrus' father was Cambyses I and his son was Cambyses II. Within the text, the father and son of the king had different groups of symbols for names so Grotefend assumed that the king must have been Darius.

These connections allowed Grotefend to figure out the cuneiform characters that are part of Darius, Darius's father Hystaspes, and Darius's son Xerxes. He equated the letters [x] with the name d-a-r-h-e-u-sh for Darius, as known from the Greeks. This identification was correct, although the actual Persian spelling was da-a-ra-ya-va-u-sha, but this was unknown at the time. Grotefend similarly equated the sequence [x] with kh-sh-h-e-r-sh-e for Xerxes, which again was right, but the actual Old Persian transcription was kha-sha-ya-a-ra-sha-a. Finally, he matched the sequence of the father who was not a king [x] with Hystaspes, but again with the supposed Persian reading of g-o-sh-t-a-s-p, rather than the actual Old Persian vi-i-sha-ta-a-sa-pa.

By this method, Grotefend had correctly identified each king in the inscriptions, but his identification of the phonetical value of individual letters was still quite defective, for want of a better understanding of the Old Persian language itself. Grotefend only identified correctly the phonetical value of eight letters among the thirty signs he had collated.

Grotefend made further guesses about the remaining words in the inscriptions, and endeavoured to rebuild probable sentences. Again relying on deductions only, and without knowing the actual script or language, Grotefend guessed a complete translation of the Xerxes inscription (Niebuhr inscription 2): "Xerxes the strong King, King of Kings, son of Darius the King, ruler of the world" ("Xerxes Rex fortis, Rex regum, Darii Regis Filius, orbis rector"). In effect, he achieved a fairly close translation, as the modern translation is: "Xerxes the Great King, King of Kings, son of Darius the King, an Achaemenian".

Grotefend's contribution to Old Persian is unique in that he did not have comparisons between Old Persian and known languages, as opposed to the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone. All his decipherments were done by comparing the texts with known history. However groundbreaking, this inductive method failed to convince academics, and the official recognition of his work was denied for nearly a generation. Grotefend published his deductions in 1802, but they were dismissed by the academic community.

It was only in 1823 that Grotefend's discovery was confirmed, when the French archaeologist Champollion, who had just deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, was able to read the Egyptian dedication of a quadrilingual hieroglyph-cuneiform inscription on an alabaster vase in the Cabinet des Médailles, the "Caylus vase". The Egyptian inscription on the vase was in the name of King Xerxes I, and Champollion, together with the orientalist Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin, was able to confirm that the corresponding words in the cuneiform script were indeed the words which Grotefend had identified as meaning "king" and "Xerxes" through guesswork. The findings were published by Saint-Martin in Extrait d'un mémoire relatif aux antiques inscriptions de Persépolis lu à l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, thereby vindicating the pioneering work of Grotefend.

More advances were made on Grotefend's work and by 1847, most of the symbols were correctly identified. A basis had now been laid for the interpretation of the Persian inscriptions. However, lacking knowledge of old Persian, Grotefend misconstrued several important characters. Significant work remained to be done to complete the decipherment. Building on Grotefend's insights, this task was performed by Eugène Burnouf, Christian Lassen and Sir Henry Rawlinson.

The decipherment of the Old Persian Cuneiform script was at the beginning of the decipherment of all the other cuneiform scripts, as various multi-lingual inscriptions between the various cuneiform scripts were obtained from archaeological discoveries. The decipherment of Old Persian was the starting point for the decipherment of Elamite, Babylonian and Akkadian (predecessor of Babylonian), especially through the multi-lingual Behistun Inscription, and ultimately Sumerian through Akkadian-Sumerian bilingual tablets.

Most scholars consider the writing system to be an independent invention because it has no obvious connections with other writing systems at the time, such as Elamite, Akkadian, Hurrian, and Hittite cuneiforms. While Old Persian's basic strokes are similar to those found in cuneiform scripts, Old Persian texts were engraved on hard materials, so the engravers had to make cuts that imitated the forms easily made on clay tablets. The signs are composed of horizontal, vertical, and angled wedges. There are four basic components and new signs are created by adding wedges to these basic components. These four basic components are two parallel wedges without angle, three parallel wedges without angle, one wedge without angle and an angled wedge, and two angled wedges. The script is written from left to right.

-- Old Persian cuneiform, by Wikipedia

The mythology of Greece and Italy, nay of Germany and Iceland, has suddenly assumed a new aspect and an intelligible expression by being confronted with the poetical language of the Veda. Even civil institutions, local customs, and proverbial expressions, which we meet with in the later history of the Aryan nations, have received an unexpected explanation in the simple poetry of the Veda. In this manner the Veda, though not yet known in its completeness, has assumed an importance which no other literary production of India, could ever have claimed; and we may rest convinced, that as long as man cherishes the records of his family, in the widest sense of the word, these simple songs will maintain their place among the most valued annals of ancient history. There is one class of readers that may have been disappointed -- men who study ancient literature less on account of its historical than its poetical value. Those who expected in the Veda, strains like the elaborate odes of Pindar, or the vague and misty exhalations of Ossian, will have found but very little answering their expectations. But the true historian values facts, ancient and genuine; and a corroded copper As of the Roman republic is of greater value to him than an imperial gold medal of the most exquisite workmanship. What Schelling says with regard to the deities of the later Hindu pantheon, such as they are represented to us in the Mahabharata, the poems of Kalidasa, and the Puranas, applies to all facts of history: 'Hideous or not, they stand before us, and so require a rational explanation[1].'

1 Schelling's Philosophy of Mythology, p, 24.

But it has been a still greater pleasure to me, while engaged for so many years in preparing a critical edition, not only of the text of the Rig-veda, but also of its commentary by Sayanakarya, to observe how the conviction seems to be growing more and more general, that without this commentary an accurate and scholarlike knowledge of the Veda could never have been obtained. There was at first much controversy as to the value of Sayana, and as to the necessity of an edition, and particularly of a critical edition, of his commentary. Now it seemed to me, that his strong and his weak points must have been so apparent to all who entered honestly into the study of Sayana, that I hardly thought it incumbent on me to defend him against his enemies, or to save him from his friends. For though we all admired the quick perception and the brilliant divination displayed by some distinguished scholars in their attempts to guess the meaning of these ancient hymns without the help of that tradition which Sayana embodied in his commentary -- and though a work like that of the late M. Langlois, who actually published a complete translation of the Veda at a time when most scholars were content with deciphering a few lines, will always excite our admiration by the boldness, the perseverance, and the undoubted ingenuity which it displays -- yet before the tribunal of a more severe scholarship such works could not be approved; and it begins to be recognised that the errors which they propagated have proved so mischievous as to outweigh the many right guesses which no doubt they contained.

It would have been equally wrong, however, to consider Sayana's commentary as an infallible authority with regard to the interpretation of the Veda. Sayana gives the traditional, but not the original, sense of the Vaidik hymns. These hymns -- originally popular songs, short prayers and thanksgivings, sometimes true, genuine, and even sublime, but frequently childish, vulgar, and obscure -- were invested by the Brahmans with the character of an inspired revelation, and made the basis of a complete system of dogmatic theology. If therefore we wish to know how the Brahmans, from the time of the composition of the first Brahmana to the present day, understood and interpreted the hymns of their ancient Rishis, we ought to translate them in strict accordance with Sayana's gloss.[???] This is the object which Professor Wilson has always kept in view in his translation of the Veda; and for the history of religion, which in India, as elsewhere, represents the gradual corruption of simple truth into hierarchical dogmatism and philosophical hallucination, his work will always remain the most trustworthy guide. Nor could it be said, that the tradition of the Brahmans, which Sayana embodied in his work, after the lapse of at least three thousand years, had changed the character of the whole of the Rig-veda. By far the greater part of these hymns is so simple and straightforward, that there can be no doubt that their original meaning was exactly the same as their traditional interpretation. But no religion, no poetry, no law, no language, can resist the wear and tear of thirty centuries; and in the Veda, as in other works, handed down to us from a very remote antiquity, the sharp edges of primitive thought, the delicate features of a young language, the fresh hue of unconscious poetry, have been washed away by the successive waves of what we call tradition, whether we look upon it as a principle of growth or decay. To restore the primitive outlines of the Vaidik period of thought will be a work of great difficulty.[1]'

1 See the Author's Essay on the Veda and Zenavesta, p. 13.

'We may collect all the passages where an obscure word occurs, we may compare them and look for a meaning which would be appropriate to all; but the difficulty lies in finding a sense which we can appropriate and transfer by analogy into our own language and thought. We must be able to translate our feelings and ideas into their language at the same time that we translate their poems and prayers into our own. We must not despair even where their words seem meaningless and their ideas barren or wild. What seems at first childish may at a happier moment disclose a sublime simplicity, and even in helpless expressions we may recognise aspirations after some high and noble idea. When the scholar has done his work, the poet and philosopher must take it up and finish it. Let the scholar collect, collate, sift, and reject -- let him say what is possible or not according to the laws of the Vaidik language -- let him study the commentaries, the Sutras, the Brahmanas, and even later works, in order to exhaust all the sources from which information can be derived. He must not despise the tradition of the Brahmans, even where their misconceptions and the causes of their misconceptions are palpable. To know what a passage cannot mean is frequently the key to its real meaning; and whatever reasons may be pleaded for declining a careful perusal of the traditional interpretations of Yaska or Sayana, they can all be traced back to an in-concealed "argumentum paupertatis [the argument of poverty.]." Not a corner in the Brahmanas, the Sutras, Yaska, and Sayana should be left unexplored before we venture to propose a rendering of our own. Sayana, though the most modern, is on the whole the most sober interpreter. Most of his etymological absurdities must be placed to Yaska's account, and the optional renderings which he allows for metaphysical, theological, or ceremonial purposes, are mostly due to his regard for the Brahmanas. These Brahmanas, though nearest in time to the hymns of the Rig-veda, indulge in the most frivolous and ill-judged interpretations. When the ancient Rishi exclaims with a troubled heart, "Who is the greatest of the gods? Who shall first be praised by our songs?"-- the author of the Brahmana sees in the interrogative pronoun "Who" some divine name, a place is allotted in the sacrificial invocations to a god "Who," and hymns addressed to him are called "Whoish" hymns. To make such misunderstandings possible, we must assume a considerable interval between the composition of the hymns and the Brahmanas. As the authors of the Brahmanas were blinded by theology, the authors of the still later Niruktas were deceived by etymological fictions, and both conspired to mislead by their authority later and more sensible commentators, such as Sayana. Where Sayana has no authority to mislead him, his commentary is at all events rational; but still his scholastic notions would never allow him to accept the free interpretation which a comparative study of these venerable documents forces upon the unprejudiced scholar. We must therefore discover ourselves the real vestiges of these ancient poets; and if we follow them cautiously, we shall find that with some effort we are still able to walk in their footsteps. We shall feel that we are brought face to face and mind to mind with men yet intelligible to us, after we have freed ourselves from our modern conceits. We shall not succeed always: words, verses, nay, whole hymns in the Rig-veda, will and must remain to us a dead letter. But where we can inspire those early relics of thought and devotion with new life, we shall have before us more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt or Nineveh; not only old names and dates, and kingdoms and battles, but old thoughts, old hopes, old faith, and old errors, the old "Man" altogether -- old now, but then young and fresh, and simple and real in his prayers and in his praises.'

How the Veda should be interpreted, and how Sayana's commentary should be made use of for that purpose, has lately been shown in a work by M. Ad. Regnier, 'Etude sur l'idiome des Vedas et les origines de la Langue Sanscrite, Premiere Partie, Paris 1855.' I may be allowed to quote from this excellent essay the following passage, which lays down with fairness and exactness the principles which ought to be followed by every student of the Veda. 'Je joins au texte des hymnes celui du commentaire de Sayana Acharya, que je suivrai, dans son interpretation, partout ou il me semblera que la logique et la grammaire le permettent; toutes les fois que j'adopterai un autre avis que le sien, j'en donnerai les raisons: d'abord pour bien etablir le sens, parce que, dans une matiere souvent aussi obscure, il faut toujours savoir d'abord l'avis des Indiens eux-memes; puis, parce que ces scolies nous donneront l'occasion de faire connaissance avec quelques-unes des habitudes les plus ordinaires d'interpretation des glossatteurs. Tous ceux qui ont eu le bonheur de suivre le cours de M. Eugene Burnouf savent quelle importance il attachait a l'explication des commentaires. Le meilleur moyen, selon lui, d'assurer et de hater les progres et de se rompre aux difficultes de la langue, c'etait de se familiariser de bonne heure avec la methode et le style des grammairiens, style souvent tres-abstrait et ou les procedes d'expression synthetique sont pousses frequemment a l'exces.' [Google translate: I join to the text of the hymns that of the commentary by Sayana Acharya, which I will follow, in its interpretation, wherever it seems to me that logic and grammar allow it; every time I adopt a different opinion than his, I will give the reasons: first to establish the meaning, because, in a subject often so obscure, it is always necessary to first know the opinion of the Indians themselves; then, because these scholia will give us the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the most common habits of interpretation glossators. All those who have had the pleasure of taking the course of Mr. Eugene Burnouf know what importance he attached to the explanation of the comments. The best means, according to him, of assuring and hastening progress and break with the difficulties of the language, it was to familiarize oneself with good time with the method and style of grammarians, a style often very abstract and where synthetic expression processes are frequently pushed to excess.]

Even if the author had not paid this tribute to the memory of E. Burnouf, the accuracy and painstaking minuteness of his work would have shown that he belonged to Burnouf's school; and it is pleasing to see how the spirit of that eminent scholar seems still to be alive in that brilliant senate of learning of which he once formed so illustrious a member, when we read that the French Academy has proposed as one of its last prizes--

'Un commentaire particulierement exegtitique et grammatical, soit sur une partie suivie, soit sur un choix d'hymnes du Rig-veda, ou l'on aura soin d'exposer toujours et de discuter, s'il y a lieu, memo quand on ne l'adoptera pas, l'opinion du commentateur Sayana Acharya.' [Google translate: A particularly exegtitic and grammatical commentary, either on a followed part, either on a choice of hymns of the Rig-veda, or one will take care to expose always and to discuss, if necessary, even when it is not adopted, the opinion by commentator Sayana Acharya.]

Such a prize, while it gives a sanction to my work, for which I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude, will, it is to be hoped, act as an encouragement, and bring some of our young Sanskrit scholars toward that line of study which Burnouf pointed out to all of his pupils, as the most sure to lead to real and lasting results.

After what has been stated in the prefaces to the first and second volumes, I have little to add with regard to the MSS. which I used for the thirdvolume. There is one notice which I lately received from the Rev. Dr. Stevenson, the distinguished editor and translator of the Sama-veda, and which I subjoin here in confirmation of my views on the local origin of the three families of the MSS. of Sayana's commentary.

'As I see you have formed a particular family of the two MSS. B 1 and B 2, I may as well mention to you all I have learnt of their history. B 1 was procured at Puna from a Wakil, who procured it from the family of the Guru of the late Peshwah; at least, so he said; and, as the family was poor, and no one else likely to have such a work, there is no reason to discredit his story. It is, as you will see, written by two different scribes, the greater part in what we at Bombay call Kayasthi lipi, the handwriting of Kayasths from the province of Guzerat. The letters in this portion are very deep. The rest is written by a Deccani Brahman in what we call the Dakshani lipi, and not so deep as the other. This difference is discernible even in the Cave inscriptions in the old character.

'B 2 was copied for M. Burnouf from that MS. by a Puna Brahman, whom I got to transcribe it for him.

'I have also an imperfect copy of another MS. of the Bhashya. The whole of the seventh Ashtaka is wanting, and I have only two Adhyayas of the eighth. If you would like to see them, I shall be happy to send them; and indeed the whole MS is at your service. There is a complete copy of the Bhashya of the Rig-veda Samhita in the library of the R. A. Society, Bombay branch. The first Ashtaka is copied from B 1, and would be of no use to you; but the rest was taken, I am told, at Mr. Elphinstone's expense, or at that of the Bombay government, and deposited in the library, from a copy belonging to Dr. Taylor, which was carried to England, as I understood, to be deposited in the library of the India House. As, however, you take no notice of such a work there[1]

1 Dr. Taylor's copy was not mentioned in the preface to the first volume, because it only begins with the third Ashtaka. It will be seen from my preface to the second volume, which Dr. Stevenson had not received, that I recognised this MS. as one of the B class, though, particularly in the later books, it has peculiar readings, and is sometimes evidently an abbreviation of the original text of the B MSS.

I must have been under a mistake about that. However, there is no mistake about Dr. Taylor's having had such a work, and the Bombay copy having been taken, sometime about 1820, from it, with the exception of the first Ashtaka, which was omitted, why I cannot say. The imperfect copy I have is partly taken from this, and partly made up of portions of a MS. received from the Wakil.'

Another communication on the MSS. of Sayana's commentary was kindly sent to me by my learned friend Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall, while yet at Benares. I had applied to him for help with regard to some extremely difficult passages in the fifth Ashtaka, and in the hope that some more fragments of the MS. mentioned in my preface to the second volume, p. xii [above, p. xxxvi], might still be discovered in India. He wrote to me, Benares, Jan. 15, 1855:

'I was much afraid that I should have to send off this letter without being able to furnish you with the means of perhaps supplying the lacunae you have encountered in the fifth Ashtaka. In fact, but a few hours have elapsed since I was able to put together the extracts from MS. B, which I enclose. We have in the College library but one MS. of Sayana's commentary on the R.V. It was copied in the Samvat year 1851, and is, as you will see under the heading of MS. a, of little value. Notwithstanding repeated enquiries, I was unable to get sight of any other MS. until B was brought to me yesterday. This MS. is without date of transcription, and has no external indications of any antiquity. I think the passages from it, which I now send, fully justify me in ordering a copy to be made forthwith of the whole of the fifth Ashtaka[2].

2 This copy has since been received. It begins with the third Adhyaya of the fifth Ashtaka.

If you request it, I will have the remainder of the MS. copied; but, as there is a possibility that its character will differ in different Ogdoads, you had better send some test-passages by which to decide its value in the subsequent Ashtakas.

'As for the sheet which I send you, it has reference to the last passage or passages noted in the paper you sent. I was not sure what it was you required. Accordingly, if I have erred, it has been on the right side. The first copy was made from a, which I afterwards changed by interlineations and erasures to correspond to B. I shall be happy if I hear that I have been the instrument of rescuing your work from even a single imperfection.

'Are you acquainted with an abridgement of Sayana's commentary by Mudgala [Valmiki]? The grammatical explanations are omitted altogether, and the remainder of the comment so abridged that the whole takes up about a fourth part the space of the original. Our copy professes to be taken in the Samvat year 147- [90 A.D.]. The last figure is unsupplied. Strange to say, it does not break off in the fourth Adhyaya of the first Ashtaka, where all your MSS. of the A and B classes terminate; but it runs on to the words [x], p. 538. l. 5 [now p. 294. l. 8] Afterwards there occurs the same appearance of supplial by a later hand, to which you call attention; a peculiarity which I observed also in the MS. B. If this epitome may be trusted, the mutilated passage at the bottom of page 969 [now p. 542. l. 3] should run thus: [x][1].

1 This MS. has since been sent to the library of the East-India House. It contains Ashtakas I, II, and III, and the last three Adhyayas of Ashtaka IV. Some fragments of the first and seventh Ashtakas were presented to me by Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall. I subjoin the beginning of the first Ashtaka so far as it is legible, and without attempting to correct all mistakes: [x]

'Did you ever hear of a Rig-bhashya by Ravana? Surya Pandit [16th century], in his Paramartha-prabha, a commentary on the Bhagavadgita, professes to have seen it.

Ravana's Commentary on the Rig Veda: Ravana's Commentary on the Rig Veda

by Fitz-Edward Hall, Esquire, D. C. L.

To the Secretary to the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Bombay, April 11, 1862

Sir, —Accompanying this note I send, for the Journal, some extracts from a commentary on the Rig-veda, by one Ravana. Time fails me to put into presentable shape for the press a translation of them, and remarks thereon, which I had hoped to communicate with the Sanskrit.

The extracts are contained in the Paramartha-prapa, a volume of scholia, by Surya Pandit, on the Bhagavad-gita. Some account of Surya, who lived in the first half of the sixteenth century, will be found in my Contribution towards an Index to the Bibliography of the Indian Philosophical Systems, pp. 110, 120.* [* The extracts, now given, were originally printed in a preface to this work which was subsequently cancelled.] I have indicated numerically, by mandala, sukta, and rich, the passages of the Rig- veda which are expounded.

That a Ravana wrote annotations on some portion of the Veda, is hinted by Mallari. See the Graha-laghava, &c., Calcutta edition, p. 5. At Ajmere, at Gwalior, and elsewhere, pandits have, again and again, assured me of their having seen, and even of their having possessed, the whole of Ravana’s commentaries on the Rig-veda and Yajur-veda. And I hesitate to conclude, that herein they were cretizing; as I am unable to conceive why they should have wished to deceive me.

On the authority of the Bhava-prakas’a, by Bhava Mis'ra, son of Latakana Mis'ra, some Ravana or other composed a Kumara-tantra. A work of like title, Bhava alleges, is ascribed to Sanatkumara.

Your obedient servant,

Fitz-Edward Hall.

-- Ravana's Commentary on the Rig Veda, The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. XXXI, Nos. I to V, 1862, pp. 129-131

'I am also told, that a commentary by Ravana on one of the Sakhas of the Yagur-veda is still extant.

'I have failed entirely in all attempts to trace the history of the MS. of Sayana, of which I sent you some fragments. But I have since procured a fragment of the eighth Ashtaka, very like it in outward appearance.'

In another letter, dated Ajmere, 24th May, 1856, the same distinguished scholar wrote to me:

'It must be perplexing to be obliged to illuminate Sayana's text with stars. I am not going to say that the publication of this work was undertaken prematurely: but I am pretty well assured, from what I have observed, that there still lie hidden, in the libraries of rigid Brahmans, scores of hereditary copies of this commentary; and it is scarcely unreasonable to suppose that, if procurable, they might supply your lacunae.'

There is one more MS. which ought to be mentioned here. It belongs to the library of the East-India House (No. 2612), and bears the title [x]. It is, however, not the sixth, but the fifth Ashtaka of the Rig-veda. As it hears the date [x], it might have been expected to yield some help towards the restoration of Sayana's text; but on closer inspection it turned out an exact and literal reproduction of my own MS. Ca.

When I began this edition, I thought the whole of it would be completed in three or four volumes, and I now find that the first three volumes contain hardly more than half of the whole work. I must confess that I could have wished that the ancient poets of the Veda and their Indian commentators had been less diffuse; for though I believe that no edition of any author in Sanskrit or any other language, for which manuscripts had first to be copied, others to be collated, innumerable references to be verified, and an index to be made of every word, has ever been brought out so rapidly as this edition of the Rig-veda, yet I feel that ten years of my life are gone, and I know not whether I shall have sufficient time left to finish a work which I once undertook perhaps with too much confidence. Yet even if I should not see the completion of this work, I should not he sorry for the time that I have spent on it; and nothing will ever induce me to change the principles which I have hitherto followed, and to give a hasty copy of a MS., instead of a critical edition of the text and commentary of the Rig-veda. I have had again for this volume the valuable assistance of my learned friend Dr. Aufrecht, and I sincerely regret that I shall no longer enjoy this advantage, as much of the correctness and accuracy of the last volumes was due to his conscientious cooperation, joined to the kind assistance which I have never failed to receive from my honoured friend Professor H. H. Wilson.

I have to express my deep obligation to the Court of Directors of the Honourable the East-India. Company, under the chairmanship of Colonel Sykes, and to the Board of Control, under the presidency of the Right Honourable Vernon Smith, for having sanctioned the continuation of this work, and granted funds necessary for its completion -- an act of enlightened liberality, which will be applauded by all persons interested in the history of India and in the history of mankind, and by which one of the most important monuments of antiquity will be rescued from oblivion and restored in its integrity.


OXFORD, JUNE 5, 1856.
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Re: Rig-Veda-Samhita, by Max Dr. Max Muller

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The princely and truly patriotic liberality of His Highness the Maharajah[1] of Vijayanagara has enabled me to take up once more in the evening of my life that work which has occupied me during my youth and during my advancing years.

I had hardly left the University when the conviction forced itself upon me that, without a knowledge of the Veda, all our study of Sanskrit literature would lack its solid foundation. I therefore determined to devote my life to an edition of the Rig-veda with its Sanskrit commentary by Sayanakarya, a task which at that time seemed certainly far beyond my powers, but which nevertheless, with the assistance of many kind friends, I have been allowed to bring to its completion within the space of twenty-four years, 1849-1873. Why the completion of this work should have required so many years, no one acquainted with its difficulties and with the difficulties of a scholar's struggles in early life, will be at a loss to understand. I myself have often grudged the time which I had to devote to this self-imposed task. But I felt convinced that the work had to be done, I was encouraged by all the most eminent Sanskrit scholars of the time to persevere in it, and, I may say it now without conceit, I have been fully rewarded by the results which it has produced. Not only have the Vedic studies in Europe during the last forty years opened before our eyes a completely new period in the history of language, mythology, and religion, but among scholars in India also a new interest in the ancient literature of their country has sprung up, and much good work has been done by them, if not exactly in the spirit of European scholarship, yet with some most important practical results to themselves and their fellow-countrymen.

It is this newly awakened and constantly spreading interest in Vedic literature in India which has necessitated a new edition of the Rig-veda and its commentary by Sayanakarya. Whatever the opinion of European scholars may be as to the real value of Sayana's commentary, native students naturally turn first to a native commentary, before venturing on an independent critical study of their ancient sacred texts. During the last ten years constant applications arrived from India for copies of my edition of the Rig-veda, but the first, the second, soon also the third and fourth volumes were sold out, and the six volumes together had to be bought at a price double of that at which they had been originally published.

Overwhelmed as I was with other and to me far more attractive work, I felt no desire whatever to undertake a new edition of these enormous volumes. But when I was told again and again by my Indian friends that the scarcity of copies seriously interfered in many parts of India with the newly re-awakened study of the Veda, I felt that I ought not to shrink from a work to which they evidently thought that I was in honour pledged. I therefore expressed to the Secretary of State fur India my readiness to undertake a revised edition, giving my time and labour gratuitously, provided that the expense of printing were undertaken by the Indian Government. I did not imagine that in making such an offer I could be supposed to be asking for a favour. Grateful as I have always felt for the enlightened liberality of the Court of the Directors of the late East-India Company, I may be permitted to point out that they and their successors have received a very fair return for the outlay on the first edition, in the shape of 500 copies, representing a value of £7,500, which were either distributed by them as valued presents, or actually sold in the market. The Members of the India Council, however, took a different view from that taken by their predecessors, the Directors of the old East-India Company. While the Directorls on the advice of the greatest Sanskrit scholar of the time, Professor H. H. Wilson, their illustrious Librarian, declared that 'the publication of so important and interesting a work as the Editio princeps of the Rig-veda, was in a peculiar manner deserving of the patronage of the East-India Company, connected as it is with the early religion, history, and language of the great body of their Indian subjects,' the literary Committee of the India Council, acting on somewhat different advice, declined my offer of publishing a new edition of the Rig-veda, though a strong desire for it had been expressed by scholars both in India and Europe, and though my gratuitous services were placed at their disposal.

No one felt more relieved by this decision than myself, but others took a different view, and in India particularly the motives, real or imaginary, of this refusal were canvassed very freely. Being asked by several of my Indian correspondents whether I would allow my edition to be reprinted in India, I replied that I should gladly give my permission to a duly qualified native scholar, but that it would be a pity to simply reprint it, without incorporating the numerous connections and additions which I had made in the course of the last thirty years, partly by availing myself of the criticisms of European and native scholars, partly by a collation of new and important MSS. which were not accessible to me when I published the original edition.

After several more or less feasible plans had been suggested, I received a letter from His Highness the Maharajah of Vijayanagara, offering to defray the whole expense of a new edition, if I were still willing to undertake the labour of revising the text.
'Your study of the literature of India and its people,' the Maharajah wrote, 'has decidedly established a great claim on all Hindus to help you to the best of their abilities in any undertaking, much more in one of such literary and religious importance to ourselves.'

After this generous offer from one of the most enlightened and distinguished Princes of India -- the Maharajah was a Member of the Legislative Council of the Governor of Madras during the Governorship of Sir Mountstuart E. Grant Duff, and is now a Member of the Viceregal Legislative Council -- I could hesitate no longer. I gave up some other work which I had contemplated, and was fortunate enough to secure the assistance of an excellent young Sanskrit scholar, Dr. Winternitz, a pupil of Professor Buhler of Vienna. After the necessary preparations had been completed, we began our work in the spring of 1888.

In order not to delay the actual printing, I began the new edition with the second Mandala. The first Mandala was the one which required the most careful critical revision. I was myself a novice in this field of scholarship, when I published it in 1849. Many of the books quoted by Sayana and supposed to be generally known to his readers, were accessible at that time in MSS. only, but have since been published, and had therefore to be carefully re-examined. New MSS. also of Sayana's commentary, and some of them far more valuable than those which I possessed forty years ago, have been lent me for this new edition.

In the main, this new edition is an exact reproduction of the original edition, which, therefore, for all practical purposes, will not be superseded by the new one. But there are in every text difficult or doubtful readings, of interest to the scholar only, and these have all been carefully reconsidered with the help of the new material now at our disposal. Dr. Winternitz has, I believe, most conscientiously verified all the quotations occurring in the first edition, and has added many references to texts published since. References to the Varttikas have now been given according to Professor Kielhorn's edition of the Mahabhashya. Bohtlingk's new edition of Panini's Sutras has proved very useful, likewise the new edition of the Nirukta by Pandit Satyavrata Samasrami. Dr. Winternitz, as well as another young and very promising scholar, Mr. Strong, has collated for me and recollated several MSS., has removed old misprints, and has done all that could be done to guard against the creeping in of new ones. He has also been of great help to me in determining the adoption of new readings resting on the authority of new MSS., or recommended by other scholars who have devoted their attention to the study of Sayana's commentary. In all this work he has proved himself a pupil worthy of his teacher, Professor Buhler, conscientious, accurate, yet not pedantic, and has earned the gratitude of all scholars who in future will use this new edition in pursuit of their Vedic studies.

The MSS. of Sayana remain divided into three families, as I described them in my various prefaces to the first edition. The three presuppose one common source, a Codex archetypus, though we are not always able to restore its text with perfect certainty. There is no reason, however, why this Codex archetypus should not still be recovered, but all my inquiries, even in the monastery of Sringeri, of which Sayana was once an inmate, have hitherto been in vain.

For this new edition several MSS. have been collated, or recollated, or consulted for all difficult passages.

Two Grantha MSS. (G) belonging to the Royal Asiatic Society, the one containing hymns 1 to 19, the other hymns 122 to 165, of the first Mandala, have been collated, as well as a Tulu MS. (T), belonging to the same Society, which extends from I. 75 to the end of the first Ashtaka.
It has been impossible, hitherto, to gain access to any other Grantha or Tulu MSS.

My own MS. (Ca), which had not reached me when I began to publish my first edition, has been collated for Ashtaka I by Mr. Strong. In all cases where various readings from Ca are given, they have been verified by Dr. Winternitz.

The Berlin MS. (A 3) of the first Ashtaka (see above, pp. vii, xix) has been collated from the beginning to I. 76. For the rest of the Ashtaka it has always been referred to for critical passages. I have to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Wilmanns, the Chief Librarian of the Royal Library of Berlin, for having allowed me the use of this valuable MS. at Oxford, more particularly at a time when it had been resolved not to lend any MSS. to members of our University.

The MSS. A 2 and B 1 have likewise been consulted whenever they are quoted in the Varietas Lectionis.

M I, for the first Ashtaka, represents the MSS. on which the Editio princeps was based. Since A 2 and B are included in these MSS., they have been mentioned only in such cases where they differ from M 1. In all the cases, therefore, where no reading of A 2 or B is mentioned, it must be understood that they agree with M 1. Thus, e. g. p.1. l. 25. [x] M 1. A 3. Ca. [x] G, means that A 2 and B also have [x]. Or, p. I. l. 20. [x] M 1. A 3. Ca. [x] G. B,' shows that A 2 also reads [x]. And again, 'p. 16. l. 9. [x] A 2. A 3. G. [x] M 1. Ca,' means that B also reads "[x], etc.

The chief MSS. used for the first edition were--

A 2 and A 1. Of A 3 only short notes and extracts had been made.

B1 and B 2.

C 1. C 1b. C 2. C 3. C 4. C 5. C 6.

I was not able to print the Varietas Lectionis for the first Ashtaka, and as I used the copy which contained my collations as manuscript for printing, I found that I only possessed the collations of A 1 from the beginning to hymn 33, 5, and those of C 1 from the beginning to hymn 61. These have been used for the new edition, but as in the mean time I had received several important MSS., I did not think it necessary to have A 1 and C 1 recollated. Their place has been taken by A 2. A 3. B 1. Ca. G and T, and the readings of all these MSS. will always be found, wherever the text seemed incorrect or doubtful.

Mudgala's abridged commentary mentioned in Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall's letter (see above, p, xlviii) has been used for this new edition. But though it proved very useful for Mandalas II to VI, it was of very little use for the first Mandala. While it belongs to the B class in its later portions, it is in the first Mandala a very insignificant representative of the C class. In the few cases where it proved of any use, its readings have been given in the Varietas Lectionis.

The MS. B m consists really of four bundles. The one containing the first Ashtaka, the other two the second and third Ashtakas, and the last a fragment containing Adhyayas 5 to 8 of the fourth Ashtaka. The MS. containing the first Ashtaka has a short introduction in which Mudgala is mentioned as the author of the abridged commentary: [x] etc. (see above, p. xlviii). In the MSS. containing Ashtakas II, III, and fragments of IV, Madgala's name is not mentioned. The colophons simply say:


It is, therefore, doubtful whether Ashtakas II to IV are Mudgala's work, or the work of the same author to whom the abridgement of Sayana's commentary in large portions of the B MSS. is due. Ashtakas II and III are of the same size as Ashtaka I, and written in a similar style of handwriting. The fragments of the fourth Ashtaka are of a different size, and written by a different hand. Ashtakas I to III therefore have most likely been avridged by Mudgala himself.

In the second volume, B m has been quoted much more frequently than in volume i. In all important cases it has been consulted, and its various readings have at first been entered separately. Afterwards they have only been quoted in cases where B m differs from V, with which it is intimately connected. How close this connection is, may be seen from passages such as IV. 4. 5;11, 12; 17, 4; 17, 16, and many others mentioned in the Varietas Lectionis. In many cases B m has the correct reading, while all the other MSS. are at fault, e. g. IV. 3 1, 15. In several cases, emendations made by me in the first edition by mere conjecture, have been confirmed by B m. Though Bm belongs to the B class, it is not directly derived from B 1. It omits throughout all grammatical explanations, all quotations from the Nighantu, the Nirukta, the Anukramani, and from the Sruti in general, all Viniyogas also, and all optional renderings. It supplies, however, the names of the poets, the metres, and the deities. From II. 33, I to II. 34, 4, the commentary in B is nearly identical with the abridged text of B m, which, however, is sometimes shorter than B. In the third Ashtaka B m agrees occasionally with Ca, while B follows A, as in III. 7, 4; 49, 2 ; 51. 3. 10. This may be due to later corrections.

From the beginning of Ashtaka IV to the beginning of the fifth Adhyaya B m is lost. B offers here an abridged text, and where B m begins again, it agrees with B, but is rather more correct, e. g. VI. 6, 5. 6. From VI. 62, B 1 and B 2 begin to differ, the former giving the complete, the latter an abridged text of the commentary. In the abridged portion of B, extending from V. 8, 2 to VI. 42, 2, B, Bm, and Ca go together, where they differ from A, while afterwards B and A often go together, where they differ from Co. and Bm.

A considerable number of passages which do not occur in the chief MSS. (A. B. Ca) have been printed in the text of M 1, because, as stated in the preface to vol. i (see above, p. xxiii), they seemed to be useful. Many of these passages, however, have now been relegated to the Varietas Lectionis, namely, all those which clearly show their later character. Others which might have been written by Sayana, have been left in the text, but a note has been made in the Varietas Lectionis.

The MSS. G and T are the most important of the new MSS. available for volume i. But they do not exist for the whole volume.

Whish Coll. No. 13 (G) contains Sayana's Introduction and the first 19 hymns. It is written in Grantha characters.

Whish Coll. No. 2 (T) contains the hymns I. 75 to 121, and is written in Tulu.

Whish Coll. No. 1 (G) contains I. 122 to 165, and besides a fragment (I, 1-5) of Sayana's commentary on the Aitareya Aranyaka. It is written in Grantha characters from I. 122 to I. 141, 7, the rest being written in Tulu.

None of these MSS. bears a date. They can hardly be more than 100-150 years old. The Grantha MSS. are beautifully written. The greater part both of G and T is very correct.

As to the relations existing to the other MSS., G and T can be treated as one MS. All that applies to G, applies also to T.

There can be no doubt that G and T belong to the A class. Especially clear is the relation between G and A 3. Dr. Winternitz points out the following passages as decisive on this point:

P. 11. l. 16. [x] before [x] is added in A 3. G, not in A 2. B. Ca.

P. 10. l. 20. A 3. G have [x], A 2. B. [x].

P. 10. l. 31. [x] A 3. G. [x] A 2. B. Ca.

P. 11. l. I. [x] deest in A 3. G.

P. 9. l. 3. [x] A 3. G against [x] in A 2. B. Ca.

P.9. l. 19. [x] is added after [x]: in A 2. B. Ca, but not in A 3. G.

P. 9. l. 24. A 3. G have [x], A 2. B. Ca [x].

P. 7. l. 37. A 3. G have [x], while A 2. B. Ca [x].

A very characteristic case occurs p. 104. l. 38 (18, 3), where the explanation of [x] is left out in A 3 pr. m. and added in the margin sec. m. Now in G we find a totally different explanation of [x]. This shows that A 3 and G come from the same source where [x]was not explained. In A 3 the lacuna was left, until a later hand supplied it in accordance with the other MSS., while the copyist of G supplied it by an explanation of his own.

Many other instances of agreement between A 3 and G will be found in the Varietas Lectionis. See p. I. l. 5, p. I. l. 9, p. 2. l. 8, p. 4. l. 25, p. 5. l. I, p. 7. l. 27, p. 8. l. 41, p. ll. l. 16, p. 15. l. 23, etc.

The same with T. See Var. Lect., p. 358. l. 34 (79, 9); p. 369. l. 2 ( (82, I); p. 389. l. 23 (87, I); p. 438. l. 19 (99). T seems, however, to stand nearer to A 2 and Ca than to A 3.

As to A 2 and T, see, e.g. Var. Lect., p. 362. l. I (80, 7); p. 441. l. 27 (100, 7) -- in the same line we find [x]after [x] in A 2. T only, and again, p. 442. l. 15 (100,9), [x] after [x] is left out in A 2. T-p. 451. l. 30 (102, 5), etc.

As to Ca and T, we find, e. g.

P. 374. l. 33 (84, 2). [x] in A. B, but [x] in Ca. T.

P. 386. l. 34 (86). [x] in A. B, but [x] in Ca. T.

Another characteristic passage occurs p. 460. ll. 10-12 (104, 8), where lit [x] etc. is added in the margin of Ca, apparently from A 2. In Ca pr. m. and in A 3 the passage is omitted. T gives quite an independent explanation, which tends to show that it goes back to the same source as A 3 and Ca, where this passage was omitted.

See also Var. Lect. for p. 369. ll. 17 and 19 (82, I); p. 376. l. 18 (84, 8); p. 380. l. 33 (84, 18); p. 382. l. 14 (85,1); p. 383.l. 3 (85, 3); p. 383. l. 23 (85, 5); p. 388. l. 4 (86, 5); p. 466. l. 10 (105, 13); p. 485. l. 22 (III, 5).

There are cases, however, where G differs from A, especially from A 2, while agreeing with Ca. Thus we find, p. 34. l. 33 (3, I), in Ca [x] with [x] in the margin, marked to be inserted after [x]. Now [x] is the reading of G.

P. 2. l. 42. [x] Ca marg. with A 3. G for [x] A 2. B. Ca pr. m.

P. 9. l. 5. [x] Ca sec. m. with A 3. G. [x] A 2. B. Ca pr. m.

P. ll. l. 9. Ca sec. m. and A 3. G have [x] for [x] of A 2. B. Ca pr. m.

See also Var. Lect. for p. 2. l. 27; p. 4. l. 6; p. 9. l. 13, etc.

While in these cases Ca sec. m. -- that is, Ca as representing the A MSS. -- agrees with G, we find in a few other cases Ca Ppr. m. agreeing with G.

Thus we find, p. 561. l. 24 (123, 12), [x] standing in the margin of Ca, in G it is left out.

P. 567. l. 21 (125, 1). We find in Ca pr. m. and G [x] for [x].

P. 591. l. 8 (130, 4). We find [x] in Ca pr. m. G, while Ca sec. m. reads with A 2 [x].

See also Var. Lect. p. 569. l. 9 ( 125, 4).

These few cases point rather to a relationship between the C MSS. and G, than between the A MSS. and G. But the evidence in favor of a nearer relationship between these MSS. and the A class is much stronger. For we find not only G and. T going together with A 2, or with A 3, or with Ca sec. m., hut we find also a great number of cases where they agree with A, that is with A 2. A 3 and Ca.

Thus we find, p. 351. l. 6 (75, 4), [x] in A. Ca. T, while B reads [x]; and we find, p. 351. l. 28 (76, I), [x] in A. Ca. T, while B in accordance with the Sutra of Panini reads [x]. Ibidem, l. 25, we read [x] in B. Ca, while A. T agree in reading [x].

See Var. Lect. for p. 16. l. 9; p. 46. l. 29 (5, 4); p. 370. l. 22 (82, 4); p. 411. l. 20 (92, 4); p. 412. l. 16 (92, 6); p. 419. l. 33 (93, 8); p. 423. l. 22 (94, 7); p.471. l. 5 (107, I); p. 485. l. 36 (112, I); p. 489. l. 3I (112, 10); p. 21. l. 31; p. 56. l. 21 (7, 5); p. 82. l. 27 (12, 10); p. 416. l. 17 (92, 17); p. 591. l. 9 (130,4); p. 593. l. 3 (130, 8), etc.

A very characteristic passage which clearly proves that T stands nearer to A than to any other class of MSS. occurs p. 503. ll. 4-6 (113, 16). Here a whole passage, which stands in B. Bm. Ca, is omitted in the A MSS., and A 3 states the fact that the MS. was defective by saying [x]. Now we find in T a text quite different from that given in B. Bm. Ca. That is, the writer of T relied upon a MS. where the passage was omitted and he supplied it by an explanation of his own. He apparently did not know the reading found in B. Bm. Ca.

Another interesting passage occurs p. 507. l. 17 (114, 6). Instead of [x] we find in A [x]. Now the reading of T, [x], is evidently a conjecture caused by [x].

There are a few passages, p. 672. l. 34 (158, 4), p. 677. l. 4 (160, 3), and p. 677. l. 19 (160, 4), which seem to show a near relationship between D and G. But the fragments of D (see Var. Lect., p. 52) are too small to enable us to ascertain its exact place among the classes of Sayana MSS.

Though the relationship between G, T, and the A MSS. cannot be doubted, yet a mere glance at the Varietas Lectionis will show that G and T cannot be classed as simply A MSS., like A 1, A 2, A 3. As long as they give us a text which agrees with the text of Sayana which we are acquainted with, they stand nearer to A than to B. Ca, and nearer to A. Ca than to B. But in very many cases G and T offer a text of their own which widely differs from the text of A. B. Ca. We find sometimes quite purposeless alterations which cause no difference in meaning, sometimes emendations and conjectures, and especially enlargements of the received text of Sayana.

Thus in the well-known line [x] we find in G and T sometimes [x] for [x].

Or, in the colophon, for instance, of the first, sixth, and seventh Adhyaya of Ashtaka I, we find [x], while other MSS. read [x].

Numerous are the passages where G and T differ from all the other MSS. though saying the same thing; e. g.

P. 38. l. 5 (3, 7). G has [x], where the other MSS. read [x].

P. 351. l. 5 (75, 4). [x] T for [x] of A. B. Ca.

P. 360. ll. 29 and 30 (80, 3). T has [x], the other MSS. [x]; T has [x], the other MSS. [x], etc.

It is especially in the grammatical explanations where G and T show their independence; e. g.

P. 38. l. 11 (3, 7). G reads [x] for [x].

P. 366. l. 23 (81, 3). We find in T [x] for [x]. And again and again we find in G and T such various readings as [x] for [x] (3, 8), or, [x] for [x]: alone (3, 10), [x] for [x] (4, 2), [x] for [x]: very frequently, [x] instead of [x] etc. etc.

Instead of [x] (Pan. III. I, 34) G and T read constantly [x].

At the beginning of Ashtaka II, G adopts an independent style of interpretation. While the other MSS. give the prakriya at the end of a verse (e. g. l. 122, 6 seqq.), G inserts it after each word. In l. 123, I seqq., where the other MSS. have no prakriya at all, G inserts grammatical explanations of its own. Some of these variations were so useless that they have not been inserted in the Varietas Lectionis.

In very many cases, however, G and T offer readings different from A. B. Ca, not only in wording, but also in meaning. In all such cases the various readings have been noted. See, e. g. p. 2. ll. 20, 21, 28, 37; p. 5. ll. 18, 32; p. 6. l. 17; p. 7. l. 29; p. 9. ll. 30 alia 32; p. 23. l. 3 (I); p. 87. l. 22 (13, 10); p. 107. l. 9 (19, 2); p. 371. l. 21 (82,6); p. 384. l. 5 (85,6); p. 396. l. 34 (89.5); p. 567. l. 23 (125, I); p. 569. l. 10 (125, 4); p. 571. l. 19 (126, 3), etc. etc.

Sometimes the alterations in G and T arise from ignorance and misunderstandings, for instance, p. 708. l. 35 (164, 28), where G reads [x]. On p. 385. ll. 27 seq. (85, 10), T reads [x] and [x] for [x] and [x]. [x] in this passage can only mean 'a trough,' but the writer of T evidently replaced it by [x] in the sense of 'invocation.' See also p. 712. l. 15 (164, 36), where G reads [x] instead of [x].

Such cases are not frequent, but they may serve to remind us that the readings of G and T, even when they seem very plausible, cannot always claim the highest authority. That the Grantha MSS. do not come nearer to the archetypus than A. B. Ca can be seen from passages like p. 587. l. 10 (129, 8), where G shares with A. B. Ca. the quite impossible reading [x]; or, p. 637. l. 8 (142, 9), where G, together with A. Ca., adds a grammatical explanation of [x] at the end of the verse, though [x] does not occur in the verse. See also Var Lect., p 542. l. 3 (120, 7).

The real value of the Grantha and Tulu MSS. arises not so much from their greater antiquity as from the fact that they were written by very learned Pandits who did not allow corrupt readings to remain, but corrected them according to grammar, and according to Sayana's usual style. These corrections are in many instances excellent, but they have to be judged by their own intrinsic value. Where A. B. Ca, or A. Ca, stand against G (or T), the reading of A. B. Ca has been adopted wherever it was possible. Only where the other MSS. were decidedly corrupt have the readings of G and T been adopted against the authority of A. B. Ca, though never without a note to that effect in the Varietas Lectionis. Where G and T agree with A. Ca, they have the value of an A MS.

A few orthographical peculiarities of the Southern MSS. may here be mentioned. In the text, G and T generally read [x] for [x] (e. g. I. 81, 4), [x] for [x] (e. g. I. 81, 5), [x] for [x] (e. g. I, 82, 3) etc.

Instead of [x], they always read [x], e. g. [x], etc.

Instead of [x], G and T generally read [x], e.g. [x] I. 9, 1, [x] I. 15, 1. See Var. Lect. to p. 90. l. 19 (14, 6). G writes even [x] instead of [x]: p. 103. l. 27 (18, 1).

It may be useful also to remember what mistakes are likely to arise in MSS. written in the Grantha and Tulu alphabets.

Mistakes often arise from confounding [x] and [x], [x] and [x], [x] and [x] -e and initial u, e.g. [x] and [x], and [x], [x] and :, e. g. [x] and [x], Visarga ([x]) and Anusvara [x] and Anusvara, [x], [x] etc., and [x], [x] etc., e. g. [x]: for [x], frequently [x] for [x], [x] for [x] etc., [x] and [x], [x] and [x], [x] and [x]. We often find [x] for [x], [x] for [x], [x] for [x], [x] for [x], possibly due to the peculiar Southern pronunciation on the part of the reader.

That A 3, the Berlin MS. of Ashtaka I, belongs to the A class will be seen from numerous cases quoted in the Varietas Lectionis. Decisive are such passages as the following:

P. 213. l. 30 (40, 6). Both A 2 and A 3 have [x].

P. 216. l. 16 (41,7). Both A 2 and A 3 repeat [x] after [x].

P. 217. l. 27 (42, 1). Both A 2 and A 3 have the Virama in [x].

P. 315. l.7 (64, I). A 2 and A 3 agree in the mistake [x] for [x]. In A 3 it was corrected secunda manu.
P. 317. l. 18 (64, 7). A 2 and A 3 share the mistake [x] instead of [x].

The importance of MS. Ca and its position among the Sayana MSS. have been fully discussed in the preface to vol. ii of the first edition (see above, p. xxxi seq.). It has been shown from many passages of the second Ashtaka that Ca is the original of all the C MSS., but that in its corrections it often represents the A MSS. The following examples may show that the same holds good also for the first Ashtaka:

P. 284. l. 12 (56, 5). Ca reads with B. C I [x], but [x] is corrected to [x], the reading of A 2. A 3.

P. 182. l. 7 (34, 3). We find [x] after [x] in A 3. The same addition is found in the margin of Ca.

P. 293. l. 32 (59, 7). Ca pr. m. has the right reading of [x], but it is corrected to [x], which is the reading found in A 3.

Frequently A 3 and Ca sec. m. agree, when they differ from A 2. See, for instance, p. 2. ll. 27, 42; p. 4. l. 6; p. 7. ll. 20, 23; p. 10. l. 42; p. 11. ll. 4, 9; p. 15. l. 31; p. 16. l. 24; p. 17. ll. 20, 33; p. 19. l. 31 ; p. 30. l. 6 (2); p. 30. l. 28 (2, I); p. 48. l. 36 (5, 10); p. 64. l. 7 (8, 10); p. 65. l. I (9, 2), etc. etc. Characteristic passages occur p. 554. l. 34 (122, 10), where A. Ca agree in the wrong reading [x]; p. 570. l. 3 (125, 6); p. 702. l. 22 (164, 16), etc.

It is possible that some portions of A 2 were copied from Ca, for in some places they agree in the most palpable mistakes. The most striking case occurs p. 670. l. 27 (157, 6): in Ca, fol. 88, 1. 8, we read [x] and [x] in the margin, and l. 9 we read [x] etc. Now in A 2 we read [x]. A 2 evidently mistook the [x] in Ca marg. for a correction of [x].

P. 727. l. 12 (166, 6). For [x] Ca reads [x], but the[x] can easily be mistaken for [x], and thus A 2 reads [x].

As will be seen from the preface to vol. ii of the first edition, MSS. become much scantier from the beginning of the second Ashtaka. The A class now is chiefly represented by A 2, and by corrections in Ca, which have evidently been taken from an A MS. Some of the C MSS., especially C 2, contain often long portions copied from an A MS. From Ashtaka, III. 3, 27 to the end of the Ashtaka the fragment marked Aa is very important, and seems to be the original of A 2. The B class is now represented by B 1, from which all other B MSS. have been derived. The C class is chiefly represented by Ca, the other C MSS. being but rarely of use by the side of Ca. For the whole of vol. ii (Mandalas II to VI) MS. Ca has been collated throughout by Dr. Winternitz for the purpose of revising the text of the first edition.

MSS. A 2 and B 1 have been consulted whenever there was any doubt or difficulty, and their readings have been noted in the Varietas Lectionis in all cases where they seemed to be of any importance.

Several of our MSS. of Sayana have evidently been used for study in India, and have been corrected by native scholars, either independently or on the authority of other MSS. After a time some of these corrections, inserted originally in the margin, would, when the MS. was copied again, be inserted in the text, and thus obscure from time to time the original relationship of the MSS. Such cases have been noted in the Varietas Lectionis, and various readings have often been inserted, not so much for their own sake, as for the light which they throw on the mutual relation of the MSS. The fourth Ashtaka in A 2 and Ca is not written by the same hand which wrote the third. In this Ashtaka A 2 has many corrections, but the original text agrees with Ca.

There are some portions of the commentary where B and A 2 go together and differ from Ca, others where B goes with Ca and differs from A 2. See, for instance, IV. 4, 8; 4, 15; 23, 1. How closely B and Ca hang together is seen in such passages as V. 54, 4. 6; 55, 9; 57, 6; 58, 6.

On the whole A and Ca stand nearer to each other than B stands to either. Again, B comes nearer to Ca than to A. The most difficult parts of Sayana's commentary are those where all the three chief MSS., A. B. Ca, agree in false readings. Such a portion of the commentary begins, for instance, with I. 173, 6.

In cases where the text adopted in the first edition has been altered, the various readings supplied by the MSS. have been noted, while the reading adopted in the first edition has been added and marked M 1, at least in all cases where it seemed of any importance to do so. It should he remembered, however, that from the beginning of the second Ashtaka M 1 means simply Editio princeps, and does not include A 2 and B.

Sometimes, and more particularly in the beginning of Ashtaka IV, and again towards the end of Mandala, VI, even our best MSS. (A 2. B 1 and Ca) are often very deficient and faulty, and readings had to be adopted in the first edition unsupported by any of these MSS. These readings have been retained in the second edition, but as they may have had the authority of some MS. which, having been returned to its owner, is not available for the new edition, they have been marked by MS., in order to distinguish them from purely conjectural emendations. Thus when we read in the Varietas Lectionis, p. 60. l. 38, [x] MS., [x] A 2. B. Ca, this means that [x], though unsupported by A 2. B. Ca, may have been the reading of some MS. If, on the contrary, [x] had been a mere conjecture, the Varietas Lectionis would have given [x] A2. B. Ca.

In the few cases where the text of the Rig-veda is doubtful, the Samhita and Pada MSS. of the Bodleian Library have been once more consulted. A new accentuated Samhita MS. (S 4), in my possession, containing all the eight Ashtakas has been made use of. Ashtaka II is dated Saka 1679, the copyist's name is Karopanamaka Narayana. The other Ashtakas are written by Navathyopanamaka Kesavadeva. Ashtakas I, IV, and V are dated Saka 1707; Ashtaka III, Saka 1708; Ashtaka VI, Saka 1705; Ashtaka VII, Saka 1704; Ashtaka VIII, Saka 1709.

Two more Pada MSS. have been used for this new edition, viz. Colebrooke's MS. (P 3) India Office Library, Nos. 20-27, and Wilson 439-442 (P 4) of the Bodleian Library, both accentuated.

As to the rules of Sandhi, the principles laid down in the preface to vol. i of the first edition (above, p. xxiii seq.) have been strictly adhered to, and carried out even more rigorously than before. Wherever Sandhi is broken, there was a definite reason for it. And both with regard to Sandhi and the division of sentences every effort has been made to be as consistent as it is possible in so large a work as Sayana's commentary.

October 1, 1890.
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