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Re: ARTICLE : Five factors of action

Posted By Shrisha Rao (shrao@nyx.net)
11 Jan 1997 05:45:06 -0700

In article <ghenE3q2BF.A69@netcom.com>,
Michael Tandy <mpt0002@jove.acs.unt.edu> wrote:
>In article <ghenE3nn3I.3rq@netcom.com>, shrao@nyx.net says..
>>> adhisthanam tatha karta karanam ca prthag-vidham /
>>> vividhas ca prthak cesta daivam caivatra pancamam //
>>> "The locus and the doer, as well as the different types of facilities,
>>> various separate endeavors, and, especially, Divine will--these are the
>>> five factors of action."
>>The translation may be correct in some sense, but it is rather hard to
>>grasp and does not give a clear picture of what the verse is saying,
>>and its significance; one cannot easily understand what is meant by
>>`locus', for instance.
> I think the reason you're having a hard time understanding the
>translation is that you are taking the word "locus" in the sense it is
>used in geometry, as you posted it.

First of all, that I understand the verse but not its claimed translation
indicates a problem with the latter, whether you admit it or not.

> I didn't use the word in this sense. I used it in its primary sense,
> meaning, simply, "place." This is how the American Heritage
>Dictionary (New College Edition) first defines it.
> and I would say this is not the right translation for
> Here is how Monier-Williams defines "adhiSThAna"--
> standing by, being at hand, approach; standing or resting upon; a
> basis, base; the standing-place of a warrior upon the car; a
> position, site, residence, aboe, seat; etc.
> I think this safely means "place."

Perhaps it does. But relying on a dictionary mainly used in worldly
discourse for translating shaastra is not to be highly recommended.
The word `adhishhThaana' has a standard meaning when used in shaastra
-- it means either the upaadaana-kaaraNa (material cause or substratum
of change) or, in reference to an illusion or a symbolic
representation, a substratum of illusion, or symbol, respectively.
Besides, one observes that (a) even granting that the dictionaries are
right, translating with "place" does not show the verse as stating the
Vedantic model of action, as I showed; and (b) it does not clarify
anything, nor show the clearly existing relationship between the five
kinds of causes. The significance of the verse is not realized with


Shrisha Rao

> -m


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