Imágenes de páginas

The róhita is familiarly known as the róhi-fish (cyprinus denti. culatus).

The rájiva is a large fish (cyprinus niloticus. Buchannon.) The sinhatunda (lion-faced) is not noticed in the dictionaries.

The sasalká is likewise unmentioned in the dictionaries; but Cullúca in his comment on the Mahásalka, Chap. III. v. 272, identifies these fish with one another : it is therefore the shrimp or prawn.

18. I am happy to be able to quote the words of an eminent orientalist, as explanatory of the proper import of the passage • the lizard godhá, the gandaca. The first of which, namely, • the gódhá, not being the lizard or iguana.'

“ With deference I wish to correct the translation of a verse of Menu relating to this subject. In his interlineary version, Sir William Jones has translated chadga rhinoceros, which is the undoubted meaning of the word. I can assign no reason for his substituting the Sanscrit word gandaca, which is another name for the rhinoceros. In the same version, Sir William Jones translated godhd, iguana; I am led to understand by that term the gódhica, or lacerta gangetica, named gohi and garidl in the vulgar dialects of Bengal; the iguana is in Sanscrit called gaud'héra, gaud'hara, gaud'héya, and gód'hicátmaja, which lite. rally signifies offspring of the lacerta gangetica. May I add, that this species of alligator has been ill-described by European naturalists; and through a strange mistake, has been called the open-bellied crocodile.” A Digest of Hindu Law, translated by H. T. Colebrooke, Esq. Vol. III. p. 345, note.

The interlineary version alluded to by Mr. Colebrooke, was made by Sir William Jones in his own copy of the original text. The reason why Sir William Jones substituted gandaca for the original word chadga, arose, probably, from that word being adopted by Cullúca in his comment upon the text: a practice repeatedly followed by Sir William Jones; as the commentator 3 L


has generally given those terms which are most sanctioned by familiar usage. It must be likewise borne in mind, that at the period when the translation was made, many of the commonest objects of natural history had not been identified with their Sanscrit designations.

The rabbit and hare:' see note on Chap. III. v. 270.

20. The nature of the penance sántapana may be seen in v. 213, Chap. XI.

An explanation of the chandrayana penance will be found in v. 217 and 218, Chap. XI.

21. The penance prájápatya is given in v. 212 of the eleventh chapter.

25. The term chirastiť ham stale,' which qualifies every article enumerated, has not been rendered by the translator.

63. The translator has followed the comment rather than the text, in translating the last hemistich of this verse, but after begetting a child on a parapúrvá, he must medidate three days on his impure state. The text is more general, being ' after any seminal connexion, &c.' For an explanation of parapúrvá see v. 163 of this chapter.

66. The translator, in rendering the word rajas by blood,' has made the legislator adopt a vulgar prejudice to which he was superiour. That word does not mean blood, but, according to the Hindus, the fructifying medium : they apply it equally to the pollen of a flower, or the monthly secretion of a female ; both being indispensable to precede production, the one in all vegetable, and the other in the human and in some animal bodies. One of the terms by which this appearance is known in Sanscrit, viz. pushpa a flower, will strikingly support the idea of an ancient connexion between the popular opinions of the Gothick and Hindu nations.

71. Every manuscript I have been enabled to consult reads one,' and not three days of impurity.'

83. The

83. The evident order of progression would be sufficient to point out an errour in the number five. The mss. all say fifteen, agreeably to which the text has been restored, as there is no doubt the errour is the effect of a mere oversight, perhaps of the printer. This is likewise the opinion of Mr. Colebrooke, Hindu Digest, Vol. II. p. 457.

134. The injunction does not apply to vessels contaminated, as here mentioned, but to persons after performing any of the natural wants. Indeed, the latter part of the injunction clearly shews that personal purity was the object of the notice.


Verse 14. The l'hústrina is a fragant grass (andropogon schenanthus).

The sigruca is a potherb not yet specified, and is not in the dictionaries. It is different from the sigru, a tree (morùnga guilandina and hyperanthera).

The sléshmátaca appears to be the same mentioned by Mr. Wilson under the form sléshmáta, a small tree (cordia myxa).

67. The cataca is the clearing-nut plant (strychnos potatorum). One of the seeds of the plant being rubbed on the inside of the water.jars used in Bengal, occasions a precipitation of the earthy particles diffused through the water. Wilson.

77. Instead of the quality of darkness,' we should read the quality of passion, as the original word is rajaswalam, possessing the quality of passion.'

[blocks in formation]


Verse 3. The learned translator seems to have understood the word vidruté as in the present tense of the middle voice, instead of being the prefect participle employed in the ablative absolute to agree with lóké, .on (this) world.' Perhaps the following will be a more literal interpretation of the verse, which is curious, as shewing the ancient opinion of the Hindus as to the origin of sovereignty :

“ Since this world, on being destitute of a king, quaked on all sides, therefore the Lord created a king, for the maintenance of this system (locomotive and stationary).

111. The words “ere long' should be read before deprived,' and the passage will then stand (will be ere long deprived both of his kingdom and life.'

118. Wherever wood is mentioned here, it is always for the purpose of fuel. The original word, indhana, means fuel : i. e. wood, grass, &c. used for that purpose.

119. There appears to be an errour here ; for the text states that the • lord of twenty' is to have five cula, each cula consisting of two ploughed lands; therefore, as the lord of ten villages is to enjoy the produce of two ploughed lands, the lord of twenty villages should have that of ten and not five ploughed lands.

126. Though the errour of the legislator, in assigning a specifick sum of money as a remuneration of service, is similar to what our own institutions afford many examples, yet it could not have been attended with so many disadvantages in India as with us, even had the specification been for other servants besides those of a king; firstly, because even for a long course of ages there seems to have been but little variation in the value of exchangeable produce; and secondly, because the wages were to be accompanied with a certain quantity of grain, apparently sufficient for the servant's maintenance.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

One pana of copper is at present the equivalent of eighty cowries, and appears to be the original of the fanam' now in current use at Madras. In Chap. VIII. v. 136, it is laid down that a cárshápana weighs eighty ractices. The ractice is the seed of the abrus precatorius, and weighs one grain five-sixteenths. The commentator considers the cárshápana and the pana as equal or equivalent to one another.

A dróna implies two different measures at the present day: its capacity is either one or four ád'haca. Now to determine which of these is meant we must be guided by the quantity. An ádhaca is a measure of grain, weighing seven pounds, eleven ounces avoirdupois. This would be clearly insufficient to sustain a man and his family during a month; and we must therefore suppose, if either of the present assignable quantities were those contemplated by the legislator, that it must be the larger one, containing thirty pounds, twelve ounces avoirdupois. As rice is mentioned in the text, it would support more persons than could be effected by any other grain; yet still it seems, if we have the right capacity of the dróna, but very poor pay to allow even the lowest servant of a king but little better than one pound of rice each day. I cannot help thinking, therefore, that the dróna must have been larger in ancient times than either of the two measures already specified. It is likewise to be remembered, that the pana which was to accompany it, would hardly have been sufficient to have purchased the necessary condiments that must be eaten with the rice, to make it either wholesome or nutritious.

Since writing the foregoing remarks, I find that Mr. Carey in his Bengáll Dictionary, states that the ad' haca varies in capacity, but is considered to be equal to two mans in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. The bazar man being equal to eighty pounds, the dróna would consequently contain six hundred and forty pounds, if it consisted of four such ád'haca ; and would be equivalent to about twentyone pounds of rice per diem. In the Indian Algebra, translated


« AnteriorContinuar »