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Thread: Translation Request

  1. #1
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    November 2010
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    Translation Request

    Jotta Everyone,

    I would like to request a translation of Sridhara Swami's commentary of Bhagavad Gita 10.31, available at the IIT Kanpur site:

    [SIZE=3px]झषाणां मत्स्यानां मकरो मत्स्यविशेषस्तिमिंगिलः[/SIZE]
    According to the online translations, Sridhara Swami is comparing Sri Krishna's vibhuti to Makara, a fish that is large enough to swallow whales.
    Is that what the commentary of this verse is saying?

  2. #2
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    December 2007
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    Re: Translation Request

    Namaste TTCUM,

    The verse says, "JhashANAm makarashchashmi" ==> "I am crocodile among the fishes". Lord Krishna is describing his "vibhutis" (excellence) in this chapter. These comparisons are to show how powerful and mighty the Lord is as compared to other beings on this earth.

    Now, whether there is any fish which is called Makara which is capable of swallowing even whales is certainly an exaggeration made by Swami ji. He, in his devotion to God, would not have liked God to be compared with a crocodile which is not humans favorite. However, God is in all beings equally ... for Him, all beings are equal and they are playing roles decided for them by Lord (ref : SvetAsvatar Upanishad). So, God is not belittled (as Swamiji might be thinking) by His comparison with a crocodile.

    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  3. #3
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    July 2015
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    Re: Translation Request


    Regarding crocodile and fisch I found the following on

    Crocodile, the vehicle of Varuna, Kama, Ganga, and Narmada. The Crocodile in Hinduism symbolizes divinity and Brahman. It is said that Vishnu appears in the sky as a crocodile filled with stars. Images of crocodile are found in the Indus pottery paintings. It is also said that in the past rural women in some parts of India used to pray to the crocodiles standing on the banks of the rivers for progeny.

    Fish, which represents an incarnation of Vishnu and a special class of water fairies. Indus seals contain pictograms that resemble fish. Images of fish are also found in the paintings on the Indus pottery. The Vedas contain references to fish. Hindu cosmology refers to a world inhabited by fish. In tantric tradition, offerings of fish to the deities are allowed. In Hindu iconography, ancient sculptors often combined the bodies of crocodiles and fish and showed them as one animal.

    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

  4. #4
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    November 2010
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    Re: Translation Request

    Dandavat for the replies everyone.


    The concept of a fish that can swallow whales may not be as far-fetched as you think:

    Since Megalodon is known by thousands of fossilized teeth but only a few scattered bones, its exact size has been a matter of debate. Over the past century, paleontologists have come up with estimates (based mainly on tooth size and analogy with modern Great White Sharks) ranging from 40 to 100 feet from head to tail, but the consensus today is that adults were 55 to 60 feet long and weighed as much as 50 to 75 tons--and some superannuated individuals may have been even bigger.

  5. #5
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    September 2006
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    Re: Translation Request

    hariḥ oṁ
    namasté & hello,

    Here’s how I view this ( which is nether here nor there in importance)...

    This verse झषाणां मत्स्यानां मकरो मत्स्यविशेषस्तिमिंगिलः looks like this in transliteration:
    jhaṣāṇāṃ matsyānāṃ makaro matsyaviśeṣastimiṃgilaḥ

    • jhaṣā + ṇā = a large fish + identical (the 3rd derivative of ṇā = ‘identical’ amongst other things)
    • makaro = maraka = a kind of sea-monster sometimes confounded with the crocodile , shark , or even a dolphin
    • matsyaviśeṣastimiṃgilaḥ = matsya + viśeṣa¹+asti + mi + ṃ + gilaḥ
      • matsya = a fish species
      • viśeṣa = peculiar mark; special property; distinction
      • asti = existent
      • mi - says this term is in 1st person and therefore ‘I’ (vs. ‘si’ or you, or ‘ti’ or he)
      • ṃ - I will leave my thoughts on the use of ṃ for another time.
      • gilaḥ = gila – swallow

    So ( for me) this says , I am or have that peculiar mark of maraka ( the sea-like monster) that swallows (gila) large fish (jhaṣā)
    Some too can say the following: I am identical or have that peculiar mark or being the large fish that swallows (gila) maraka ( the sea-like monster).

    Now let’s look to the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā 10.31
    pavanaḥ pavatāsmi rāmaḥ śastrabhṛtāmaham |
    jhaṣāṇāṁ makaraścāsmi srotasāsmi jāhnavī || 10.31

    Some write:
    pavanaḥ pavatām asmi
    rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham |
    jhaṣāṇāṁ makaraś cāsmi
    srotasām asmi jāhnavī ||

    Note in this verse matsyā is not called out as a term; it equals a fish species (matsyā would be female gender and matsya male gender).
    We still have jhaṣā = large fish, and we have makaraś = makara = a kind of sea-monster sometimes confounded with the crocodile , shark , or even a dolphin.
    Others say it is ½ animal and ½ fish.

    So, in this verse we see kṛṣṇaḥ -jī informing us that he is pavana or literally ‘purifier’ which many translate as wind, but can also be water and means ‘clean, pure’ ; He that purifies all. Of those that carry weapons he is none other than rāmaḥ. And of big fishes (jhaṣāṇāṁ) he calls out makaraś; and of rushing water (srotas) He is jāhnavī which means ‘daughter of jahnu¹’ or the gaṅgā river.

    iti śivaṁ


    • Note I think that an ‘ā’ was missing from this verse; when taken apart I am then able to assign an ‘a’ to viśeṣa¹+asti ( note that ‘a’ + ‘a’ = ā)
    • janhu was the name of a king and sage; son of ajamīḍha.
      • One story goes this way: when the gaṅgā river was brought down from heaven by bhagīratha's austerities , she was forced to flow over the earth and to follow him (bhagīratha) to the ocean and thence to the lower regions in order to water the ashes of sagara's sons ; in its course it inundated the sacrificial ground of jahnu , who drank up the waters. He consented at bhagīratha's prayer to discharge the waters from his ears ; hence the river is regarded as his daughter (jāhnavī) the gaṅgā river
        • Also another name of viṣṇu
    Last edited by yajvan; 26 November 2016 at 07:01 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva


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