Charles Wikner WIKNER at NAC.AC.ZA
Fri Mar 10 04:57:20 CST 2000

On Wed, 8 Mar 2000, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:

>  Ravi <msr at COMCO.COM> wrote:
> > The ardhanArishvara form is described in the
> > mahAnArAyaNa upanishhad
> >
> > R^itam satyaM paraM brahma purushhaM
> > kR^ishhNapi.ngalaM|
> > UrdhvaretaM virUpAxaM vishvarUpAya vai namo nama.h ||
> As I mentioned before, this mantra is very interesting. The words
> R^itam, satyam and brahma are neuter nominative singular. The word
> purushha is a masculine noun and the nominative is purushhaH, whereas
> the mantra uses purushhaM.

In anuSTubh meter the second or third syllable in each pAda must
be guru, and the extra M simply forces the previous syllable to
be guru by the rule saMyoge guru.  I would not read that M as a
vibhakti necessarily, but simply treat it as poetic licence.
This is not to negate your interpretation, but just to point out
that there is another (simpler) explanation.

> Contrast the above verse with "purushha eva idam sarvam" from the
> purushha sUktam. idam and sarvam are neuter, singular nominatives.
> purushha is used as masculine nominative, singular and is equated with
> idam sarvam referring to things of neuter gender.

The word idam, especially when contrasted to tat, convntionally refers
to this world, and the phrase idam sarvam almost invariably means this
world.  That tat and idam are neuter is by convention, but that could
be justified  by treating them as pronouns standing in for nirguNa-
and saguNa-brahman respectively (brahman being neuter).

The form given in the sUktam is grammatically correct as it is.  When a
visheSaNa is used in apposition it should follow the gender of the nAman,
however, when two nAme are placed in apposition their genders may differ.
For example, rAmo mama mitram (Rama is my friend) - mitram is neuter in
later Sanskrit, or so I understand.  As an interesting aside, the word
mama does not change with the gender of the speaker, i.e. the first and
second person pronouns (aham, tvam) are common gender.

Another illustration of this gender-bending grammar is in the mahAvAkya
ayam AtmA brahma (mA.up.2), where substituting the masculine form brahmA
would give a rather different meaning!

> Someone please correct me if I am wrong, I am no grammar expert.

Ditto, neither am I.

Regards, Charles.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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