A Note on Bhagavadgītā II.20

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  • 『バガヴァッド・ギーター』(II,20) 注解
  • バガヴァッド ギーター 2 20 チュウカイ

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Bhagavadgita II.20 reads as follows: na jayate na mriyate va kaddcin na 'yam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah/ajo nityah sdsvato 'yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarfre//The gerund bhutva in the second pada has been construed and translated in a variety of ways: (1) It has been rendered as a present perfect, present, or past tense, which is denied by the negation na at the beginning of the pada. Translators who have thus construed the verse include scholars such as Wilkins (1785): 'It is not a thing of which man may say, "It hath been [...]"'; Davies (1893): 'it has never been brought into being'; Deussen (1906): nicht ist er entstanden ; Hartmann (1919): Es ensteht nicht; Hill (1928): 'he came not into being'; and Zaehner (1969): 'never did it come to be'; Gotshalk (1985): 'He has had no coming-to-be in the past, and will have no coming-to-be in the future'. (2) The negative particle na at the beginning of the second pada is taken as belonging syntactically to the first pada, and the gerund retains its original function. Such an understanding appears in Lorinser (1896): nicht, einst entstanden, wird er sein auch wieder ; and in Telang (1882): 'nor, having existed, does he exist no more'. (3) The first na is construed as denying the whole sentence bhutva bhavita [...] na. In such an interpretation, bhavita na is understood in the sense of 'ceas [ing] to be'. For example, Besant (1905): 'nor having been, ceaseth he any more to be' ; Belvalkar (1939): 'nor, having been once "been", is he once again not going to "be "' ; Edgerton (1944): 'nor, having come to be, will he ever more come not to be' ; Radhakrishnan (1948): 'nor having (once) come to be, will he again cease to be'. Let me add here Edgerton's important remark concerning his own translation of bhutva which is not certain since it would seem to imply that the eternal Atman, the subject of the sentence, has an origination or beginning in time. But Gotshalk actually criticises Edgerton's hesitation here. (4) The na at the beginning of the pada is taken as negating bhutva and bhavitd na respectively. Furthermore, bhutva is construed as being the equivalent of a perfect. Thus, Garbe (1921): er ist nicht geworden, noch wird in Zukunft nicht mehr sein. Additionally, we must also mention that there are quite a few translations, not listed here, which choose to render the stanza in a free style. Now, a brief look at Sankara's commentary, the Bhagavadgitdbhasya, can solve the problem easily. His interpretation is that the second pada should be read as na'yam bhutva abhavita va na bhuyah. This is further explained as ayam atma bhutva [...] pascad abhavita [...] na bhuyah punas [...] He further adds that va and na imply an alternative sentence: ayam atma 'bhutva va bhavita dehavan na bhuyah punas [...]. Therefore, according to Sankara, the second pada presupposes two basic sentences, i.e., bhutva abhavita and abhutva bhavita, both of them being negated. We actually find a parallel of these two sentences in a Buddhist scripture called the Paramarthasunyatasutra (also extant in Chinese translation, i.e., the Di yiyi kong jing第一義空經), belonging to the Ksudrakagama. The Buddhist parallel reads: iti hi caksur abhutva bhavati, bhutva ca pratigacchati. (In its most common Chinese rendering, the main part of the sentence goes as :本無今有,己有還無). This formulation is often cited in Sanskrit Buddhist literature (as well as in the corresponding Chinese translations and commentarial texts). If we accept Sankara's commentary, which I find correct, the second pada can be construed as follows: na 'yam [abhutva bhavita] bhutva bhavita va na bhUyah. The first na would thus deny both [abhutva bhavita] and bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah, while na in the latter sentence would negate the preceding bhavita, the sense being 'to cease to exist in the future'. The author of the Bhagavadgita omitted abhutva bhavita (which is enclosed within square brackets above) and added va [...] bhuyah instead, without any change in t


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