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0483 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 483 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   467

the original passage where shan-p'o occurs; it looks as if the two characters followed each other in a dhärani, and anyhow this has no bearing on the sense of the pseudo-shan-p'o as meaning mu-mien. Fa-yün's source is the other passage (eh. 2), where Hsüan-ying uses shan-p'o as a catchword and, after having given the pronunciation of shan, adds that « in [Chinese] translation, [the term] would be mu-mien (` cotton ') » (Tripit., ibid. vu, 5 b). But the work commented upon is the Parinirvänasûtra, eh. I (NANJIO, No. 113), in which the text (Tripit., 2, y, 6 a) speaks not of

shan-p'o, but of a king of the Asura called U    Shan-p'o-li (*Siam-b'uâ-1ji); the same form
occurs in the so-called « southern » version (NANJIÔ, No. 114; Tripit., ibid. vII, 7 b), and Hui-lin, in his yin-i of that « southern » version (eh. 25; Tripit., ~ viii, 158 a) correctly gives Shan-p'o-li,

with the explanation : « It is the God of cotton »   A MI .a; the J to of our editions is a graphic
corruption of * mu). So Hsüan-ying, who was mainly concerned with the pronunciation of shan and generally eschewed lengthy catchwords, was content, in writing the name of the king of the Asura Shan-p'o-li, with quoting only the first two characters of his name; Fa-ytin blindly copied his note; and, as a consequence, the apocopate name of a king of the Asura has unduly become a pseudo-designation of cotton in Chinese and European lore.

Moreover, Hsüan-ying's and Hui-sin's explanations are most probably wrong, and Shanp'o-]i represents not a name Sâlmaii, but a Prâkrit form *ambari of ambara, the name of a well-known king of the Asura (cf. TP, 1921, 78). It is nevertheless clear that the error was only possible if the Chinese scholiasts knew the sälmali under a form of the name which was more or less like Shan-p'o-li. I have discussed at some length the transcriptions of gälmali in a paper (TP, 1921, 79-81) to which I shall now have much to add ; in particular, I have collected a number of Buddhist texts which associate the garuda with the sälmali or kutagälmali, whereas in 1921 I could quote on this point from the Rämäyan.a only (in CHAVANNES, 500 Contes, II, 288, «çambara?» is to be corrected «sâlmali»). Without entering into a detailed examination of the

problem, I may now state with certainty that the « cave of X 4   Shan-p'o-lo (*SAäm-b'uâ-13.),

the places RR 4Shan-p'o-li and X   Shan-mo-lo (*Sjäm-muâ-lâ), and the tree X
shan-mo-lo (*jäm-muât-lâ) of my paper all represent, if not gälmali, at least a word the correspon-

dent of which, in a Sanskrit text, would be gä/ma/i. To these I can add a' 4A *   shê-la-mo-li

(*siät-lât-mueit-lji ; Bongo jiten, 251), * J 0 *~J she-mo-li (*sia-muâ-lji; ibid. 223), ,4   shê-

p'o-li (*sia-b'uâ-lji; ibid. 223), 1;fß ft   shan-mo-lo (Tripit.,   , ix 103 a) , ft^   f~J shê-mo-li
(*gia-muâ-lji; ibid., k, I, 30 a, 74 a), t I $g(t shê-mo-li (*sia-muâ-ljia; ibid. 46 b, 90 b). In Sanskrit, apart from sälmali, there is also a Vedic word simbald, said to mean the flower of the gälmali,; the Prâkrit forms of the latter word are sämali, sämari,; Sanskrit scholars are agreed to attach to Vedic simbalâ the Pali name of the sälmali, simbali (cf. UHLENBECK, Kurzgefasstes Etv mol. Wörterbuch, 306, 310 ; PISCHEL, Grammatik der Prâkrit-Sprachen, § 109; T. W. RHYs DAVIDS, Pali-English Dictionary, 170). The modern Hindustani form is sämal or sämbhal, hence the Anglo-Indian seemul (cf. YULE, Hobson-Jobson '-', 807; for other forms of modern Indian dialects, cf. J. BLOCH, La formation de la langue marathe, 420, 426; contrary to SCHLEGEL, Siamese Studies, Supplement to TP, 1902, 62, 83, 84, I doubt that Siamese siimli, « carded cotton », is traceable to sälmali, because the change in meaning would be hard to explain). Apart from shê-la-mo-li, it is clear that the Chinese transcriptions are based neither on sälmali itself, nor on