Vadhryaśva and an Internet Clown.
Shrikant G. Talageri
I keep resolving that I will not waste any more time on internet (or Twitter) clowns. But, like those who make the proverbial New Year resolutions in the West and find themselves unable to be as strict as they want to be in following those resolutions, I find myself compelled to do it anyway. Perhaps after a bout of serious writing (my three recent uploaded articles on the Chronological Gulf, the Gṛtsamadas, and the Nivids, in this instance), I feel in need of some light relief, even as I am embarking on my most ambitious article yet: a full chronological study of the Rigvedic vocabulary.
Also, I think it is sometimes all right, and even necessary, to take some time off to point out the utter irrelevance of those internet/twitter clowns who know nothing about the subject, but are pompous and self-opinionated enough to think that sitting comfortably in an armchair, refusing to actually read the writings they want to criticize, giving some textbook grammatical observation or quote (which, like the quotes of stray academicians that they similarly like to proffer, they have come across in the polemical writings of some academician or journalist) to "prove" some out-of-context objection to the evidence, and adding a pompous patronizing touch to their comments on twitter, gives them their desperately wanted feeling of importance or relevance.
I was recently made acquainted with two such tweets on twitter by the same person:
This extremely stupid armchair critic with water in his brains, so desperate to show that he also knows something, is a perfect example of the kind of mentally-diseased characters that people very regularly have to face by being on twitter, and also the reason I am not on twitter myself.
According to this niśācara (night demon), the word vadhryaśva (except to "a person with Half brain") means "having castrated horses". By his logic, this is the name of Divodāsa's father, and not an epithet referring to his alleged state of childlessness. Apart from the mystery of why any parents would name their son as a person "having castrated horses" (unless they peered into a crystal ball and found out as soon as he was born that he would be achieving the enviable objective of being the proud and respected owner of castrated horses, of all things, in the distant future), this even otherwise rather fails to fit into the general Rigvedic picture: the word vadhri by itself throughout the Rigveda is always used to refer to steers (castrated bulls), never to horses.
And when used in a compound and referring to human beings, it means "impotent" and not "castrated". We have the word vadhrimatī (I.116.13; 117.24; VI.62.7; X.39.7; 65.12), translated by all the scholars with the meaning "wife of an impotent person".
Further, the word vadhryaśva is used in a special context in the only reference to it outside Book 10: in VI.61.1. It refers to the father of Divodāsa, before he became the father of Divodāsa, worshipping the Sarasvati, in order to beget a child, and being granted the boon of that historically famous son by the River Goddess. It is rather a strange coincidence that the only male person specially described in the Rigveda as conducting special worship of any God or Goddess in order to beget a child should not himself be "impotent", although called by a name or epithet containing the word vadhri, but be merely the owner of "castrated horses" — in which case he should surely have been asking for a boon that would miraculously transform his castrated horses (why did he have them in the first place?) into super-virile studs. Or maybe he was asking for just that, but Sarasvati misunderstood him and gave him an unasked-for child instead!!
But we do have instances of a female person, i.e. vadhrimatī the "wife of an impotent person", being granted the boon of a child by the Aśvins. And, by yet another "coincidence" (?) the oldest reference to this is in VI.62.17 (the very next hymn after the hymn which refers to vadhryaśva being granted such a boon by the Sarasvati). This is the oldest hymn to the Aśvins in the Rigveda which refers to the various ways in which they rescued, favored, or granted boons (including this boon of a child) to their worshippers (or to those who called out to them for help), and it is also the only reference to this vadhrimatī in the Old Rigveda, (or indeed anywhere outside Books 1 and 10).
Very clearly, the Redacted Hymn, VI.61, must have been inspired by the neighboring Old Hymn, VI.62, in attributing the gift of a child to the worshiper by the grace of the God or Goddess worshiped.
As I repeatedly point out, when half-baked objectors desperately try to cancel out the massive weight of the total OIT evidence by carping on the basic grammatical meaning of some word or the other, with absolute disregard to the context in which the word appears in the Rigveda and absolute ignorance of the tendency of the composers of the hymns to use words in a punning or oblique way, it is the context that is important more than the basic grammatical meaning. But in this case, even the basic grammatical meaning does not fit in with the objection of this buffoon.
In Vedic Sanskrit, compounds are of many types. One type is the bahuvrīhi compound, and another type is the tatpuruṣa compound. The two words rā'jan (king) and putrá (son) can be combined in two ways:
1. As rāja-putrá — a tatpuruṣa compound where the first word qualifies the second as an adjective. The accent is retained by the second word, and the word means "king's son" or a prince, as in X.40.3.
2. As rā'ja-putra — a bahuvrīhi (or possessive) compound where the two words together signify possession by the person to whom, or the object to which, the compound word refers. The accent is retained in the first word, and the word means "having sons who are kings" or the father of kings, as in II.27.7.
All the names in the Rigveda with áśva are bahuvrīhi compounds where the accent is retained by the first word, so that we get:
hári + áśva: háryaśva = having fallow/yellowish horses.
ṛjrá + áśva: ṛjrā'śva = having reddish-brown horses.
śyāvá + áśva: śyāvā'śva = having pale brown horses.
pṛ'ṣad + áśva: pṛ'ṣad-aśva = having dappled horses.
However, the word vadhryaśvá is a tatpuruṣa compound: it is a compound of vádhri (impotent) and áśva (horse), where the accent is retained in the second word (shifted to the last syllable). The word therefore does mean "impotent horse" (or "castrated horse" at worst), and definitely does not mean "having castrated horses", and it is a direct epithet applied to Divodāsa's father, referring to his alleged inability to produce a child and not to the kind of horses he possesses.
Both this internet clown, as well as whichever authority he referred to who claimed the word meant "having castrated horses", seem to be totally illiterate in Sanskrit and totally devoid of the faintest idea of Sanskrit grammar, which does not prevent the buffoon, who clearly does not have any brains, let alone a "Half brain", from making his illiterate claims and accusing me of having "no knowledge of Sanskrit". Sadly, internet buffoons and clowns, however illiterate and however much they are exposed, have no sense of honesty, shame or self-respect.
As repeatedly pointed out earlier also by me, the word vadhryaśva, used as an epithet for Divodāsa's father (Sṛñjaya) in this Redacted Hymn (on the model of other personal names and epithets current in the New Period when this hymn was Redacted), was later misunderstood by later composers and traditional writers (the composers of Book 10, the preparers of the Anukramanis, and later writers of the Puranas and Epics) to be his actual name.
In closing this very small article, I would request internet clowns like this niśācara (although, of course, I know there is no shortage of such garbage specimens on twitter and other internet sites and that they will never stop their frustrated outbursts) to not waste their time, or mine, or anyone else's, with their pathetic, abusive and pompous pronouncements on matters on which their knowledge is zero and by doing which they only expose themselves to ridicule.
Postscript 1 day later:
I had written above: "Sadly, internet buffoons and clowns, however illiterate and however much they are exposed, have no sense of honesty, shame or self-respect."
It seems the clown has now gone berserk, and is out to prove the above beyond any doubt with a flurry of tweets in such a paroxysm of baffled fury that he seems to have lost his senses (or developed into a person having a "castrated Half-brain"). Among other things, he refers to a "Dhashatha" (does he mean Daśaratha?), calls me "Arrogant" because "reading English translation of Rigveda" I think I "understand better than actual composers", and asks everyone to wait with baited breath for his "detailed point by point refutation".
He also wails: "Talageri admits he doesn't know Sanskrit…But me saying the same is taken as an insult". But you pathetic and pathological lying specimen, you did say it as an insult! The fact is although I never learnt Sanskrit in school or elsewhere, and cannot "speak" Sanskrit, no-one, after my thirty years of study, can challenge me on any point of my analysis of the Rigveda.
But let me make it cleat here: any "point-by-point refutation" by this pathological clown will only contain more and more errors showing to an increasingly greater extent his total ignorance of all three sources: the Rigveda, the Sanskrit language, and my writings. This is clear from the fact that he still refuses to accept his gross mistake and keeps reiterating it: in these desperate tweets, he still insists "the word grammatically doesn't mean impotent at all", and underlines his persistent ignorance and illiteracy byy saying: "In Karmadharaya Samasa it can mean - castrated horse. In Bahuvrihi it means - One who has castrated horses". Well, in Vedic Sanskrit you are not given the choice to decide how you will interpret it: the bahuvrīhi compound in the Vedic language retains the accent in the first component of the compound, and the word vadhryaśvá doesn't: it shifts the accent to the last syllable of the second component, so it cannot mean "One who has castrated horses"! However much this clown may wish he could rewrite the Rigveda to change the accentuation in this word to convert it into a bahuvrīhi, he cannot. As Omar Khayyam put it so well: "the moving finger writes, and having writ moves on. Nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it".
Unless this lying ignoramus clown admits he was wrong in his criticism and apologizes for lying about this word, I will ignore any "point-by-point refutation" by which he may be thinking he can induce me into giving him some more opportunity to appear in the limelight. He and his cronies can vomit out all their bile, and clean it up themselves.
Night-Fighter @Fighting_Sky1, I am told, has closed his twitter account by this name and taken a punarjanma on Twitter as Alpha @AlphaMan76 !!