Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ginger merchant and ship - किमार्द्रकवणिजः

किमार्द्रक-वणिजो वहित्र-चिन्तया
kimArdraka-vaNijo vahitra-chintayA
kimārdraka-vaṇijo vahitra-cintayā

What [would] a ginger merchant [have to do] with worry about ships?

This nyAyaH (न्यायः) is used to denote totally unrelated subjects. e.g. Why would a merchant who sells ginger, worry about ships?

Interestingly, the present word for ginger in Hindi is adaraka/adarakha (अदरक/अदरख), a direct descendant from the Sanskrit Ardraka. This is the fresh ginger root, which is moist. The word Ardra (आर्द्र) means moist, wet.

Other interesting words for ginger are :
  • Ardra-ja = आर्द्रज = Ardra+ja = born (-ja) in moist[ure] (Ardra)
  • uShaNA = उषणा = heat (uShNa) producing
  • kaTu-kanda =कटु-कन्द = sharp tasting (kaTu) stem  (kanda)
  • kaphAri = कफारि = kapha+ari = enemy (-ari) of kapha (phlegm)
  • indra-bheShaja = इन्द्र-भेषज = medicine (bheShaja) of the gods (indra the king of gods)


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and now the language aspects of the shloka -

kim = how
Ardraka-vaNijo = Ardraka + vaNijaH
Ardraka = ginger
vaNika = merchant
vANijya = commerce

vahitra-chintayA = by/with ship-worry
vahitra = ship, one that carries
chintayA = by/with worry (chintA)

so the intent is, what does a ginger merchant [have to do] with ship-worry?

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent job.please continue daily. Mrs r
Singh, durban, south africa.

latha vidyaranya said...

because it is a sharp tasting stem(katu-kaanda), in English we use the term 'gingerly comments' when the comments are unsavoury! thanks.

beautiful picture of ginger stems!

Anonymous said...

भो आर्य शशिकान्त । प्रणाम महोदय ।
Wonderful & priceless work! :-) With your kind permission, a few suggestions: It would be nice if devanāgarī is used in language aspects as well. Transliteration of any word should not be repeated in the same post, as you have already tried in another post! :-) Moreover, it would be great, if we promote ISO 15919 for transliteration (on web: IAST wherever there is no Unicode point for ISO 15919 recommendation such as ṛ in stead of r̥ for ऋ). It is really hard to read words with capitals letters in the middle of them. Itrans was great when needed, but it has served its purpose and should now be superseded with ISO 15919 now that we have a standard. (Like Itrans, IAST is also really not a standard, but just a convention.) Thanks a lot! Keep rocking! :-)

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