Translating the word वशः

Translating the word वशः

 

I had this challenge from a question from my friend Mr. Alexander Zachenyuk.

He asks –

“….

(Ref. – श्रीमद्देवीभागवते षष्ठे स्कन्धे दशमे अध्याये)

*

 

Here, in देही नास्ति वशः कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि

the translation says :”No Jîva is independent; he is always under the Great Fate.”

 

But Monier Williams says that vaza is dependent. In other words the translation is opposite : dehI nAsti vazaH ko’pi- no embodied soul is dependant.

… “

 

I replied –

वश-शब्दस्य अनुवादे मम विचाराः निम्नमिव !

  • आपटे-महाभागस्य शब्दकोशे वश-शब्दस्य व्युत्पत्तिः वश्-धातुतः निर्दिष्टास्ति (वश् कर्तरि अच्-भावे अप् वा) एवम् |

  • धातुपाठसूच्याम् –

    • वश् | अ० सेट् प० | वश कान्तौ

    • कान्तिः कम्-धातुतः |

      • धातुपाठसूच्याम् – कम् | भ्वा० सेट् आ० | कमु कान्तौ

    • कान्तौ इति इच्छायाम् | प्रायः स्वेच्छायाम् |

  • श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतायां –

    • न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ||3-5||

      • अत्र अवशः इति “स्वेच्छया विना” | यथा श्वसनकार्यं स्वेच्छया विना एव चलति यतः तत् प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः चलति | तस्य चलने स्वेच्छयायाः प्रभावः अशक्यः एव |

    • इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ | तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ ||3-34||

      • तयोः वशं न आगच्छेत् = रागद्वेषयोः वशं न आगच्छेत् = यथा रागद्वेषयोः स्वेच्छा भवेत् तथा न भवितव्यम् |

  • तथैव अत्रापि “देही नास्ति वशः कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि” =

    • कोऽपि देही वशः न अस्ति = कोऽपि देही स्वेच्छया चलति एवं नास्ति |

    • दैवाधीनः सदैव हि एतत्तु सत्यमेव ?

In the above reply the challenge was in proposing translation  अवशः इति “स्वेच्छया विना”. Because it is not so explained in Sanskrit itself, I searched around as follows, just to be sure.

In Monier Williams dictionary at http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/mw/0900/mw__0962.html I find the mention as in Table 1 below.

Table 1

*

of, according to …

 

In Apte’s dictionary I find mention as in Table 2 below.

Table 2

*
*

 

At http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?page=3 I find mention as in Table 3 below.

Table 3

वश

vaza

adj.

submissive

वश

vaza

adj.

licentious

वश

vaza

adj.

subject to or dependent on

वश

vaza

adj.

docile

वश

vaza

adj.

willing

वश

vaza

adj.

free

वश

vaza

adj.

obedient

 

At http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/ I find mention as in Table 4 below.

Table 4

वश

(H2) वश 1 [p= 929,1] [L=188395]

m. will , wish , desire RV. &c &c (also pl. व्/अशान् /अनु or /अनु व्/अश , ” according to wish or will , at pleasure “)

[L=188396]

authority , power , control , dominion (in AV. personified) ib. (acc. with verbs of going e.g. with √ इ , अनु- √इ , √ गम् , आ- √गम् , √ य , आ- √पद् , आ- √स्था &c , ” to fall into a person’s [gen.] power , become subject or give way to ” ; acc. with √ नी , आ- √नी and प्र- √युज् , or loc. with √ कृ , √ लभ् or Caus. of √ स्था or सं- √स्था , ” to reduce to subjection , subdue ” ; loc. with √ भू , √ वृत् , √ स्था and सं- √स्था , ” to be in a person’s [gen.] power ” ; वशेन,°शात् ,and°श-तः , with gen. or ifc. , ” by command of , by force of , on account of , by means of , according to “)

 

Coming to न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ||3-5|| quoted by me in my reply, I get the translation of the same verse at http://www.gita4free.com/english_completegita3.html as “.. Because, no one can remain actionless even for a moment. Everyone is driven to action — helplessly indeed — by the forces of nature. (3.05) …” Here, Dr. Ramanada Prasad has translated अवशः as “helplessly indeed”. I think my explanation of अवशः as अवशः इति “स्वेच्छया विना” is also good !

 

In fact the verse न हि कश्चित्क्षणमपि जातु तिष्ठत्यकर्मकृत् | कार्यते ह्यवशः कर्म सर्वः प्रकृतिजैर्गुणैः ||3-5|| from श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता and देही नास्ति वशः कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि from श्रीमद्देवीभागवतम् connote same concept put in different words. Author of both is only महर्षि व्यास. How could he have said opposite things ?

 

एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति Those who know, just say the same thing in different ways (words).

इति शुभम् |

-o-O-o-

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One thought on “Translating the word वशः

  1. Since basic idea here is चर्चा, it would be good to deliberate on comments and suggestions.

    Dr. Avinash Sathaye suggests that the quote देही नास्ति वशः कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि could as well be देही नास्ति वशी कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि

    He suggests very much that वशः could be a typo error or a misprint.

    By his suggestion the quote would be देही नास्ति वशी कोऽपि दैवाधीनः सदैव हि

    This editing maintains conformity to the meter.

    The syntax can then be कोऽपि देही वशी नास्ति सदैव हि दैवाधीनः (अस्ति) |

    Now the word to be translated is वशी

    वशी = वशिन् इति विशेषणम् | अत्र पुंल्लिङ्गि | तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

    In Monier Williams dictionary at http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/mw/0900/mw__0962.html I find the mention as in Table 1-1 below.

    Table 1-1
    *

    In Apte’s dictionary I find mention as in Table 2-1 below.

    Table 2-1
    *

    At http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?script=HK&beginning=0+&tinput=+vazI&trans=Translate&direction=AU I get details as in Table 3-1

    Table 3-1

    वशी

    vazI

    m.

    controller

    वशी करोति { वशीकृ }

    vazI karoti { vazIkR }

    verb

    reduce to subjection

    वशी भवति { वशीभू }

    vazI bhavati { vazIbhU }

    verb

    become subject to another’s will

    It seems the word वशी fits into the context very well.

    Yet the earlier study of the word वशः is still needed to interpret the next part of the verse .. जननं मरणं दुःखं सुखं प्राप्नोति चावशः

    Here again अवशः इति “स्वेच्छया विना” is quite good and valid.

    Actually अवशः जननं प्राप्नोति is a stark matter-of-fact statement. Nobody takes birth by one’s own desire. One is born (passive voice) !

    इति शुभम् |

    -o-O-o-

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