The oblation abuser will have the fate of the thirsty buffalo: A brief note on Ṛgveda 10.28.10cd-11ab
The primary aim of this article is to provide a case study of textual hermeneutics in the context of Vedic literature. It will be shown how some interpretative pitfalls, into which contemporary translators have fallen, can be avoided if we broaden the perspective beyond the semantics of words and apply a principle of plausibility. The case study concerns the analysis of Ṛgveda 10.28, with special reference to the wildlife episodes depicted in verses 10cd-11ab. A few modern translations in Western languages of 10cd are here considered. Some of them show that a principle of plausibility has been actually taken into account by their authors while approaching the text, albeit the result does not seem always entirely satisfactory. Some other translations seem not to carefully consider the broader context, therefore failing to convincingly make sense of the original text. After an introduction on the general subject of the hymn as it emerges from verses 1-9, i.e., the Vedic sacrifice and the subsequent consumption of the sacrificial offerings, arguments and textual evidence are provided in order to show how the reading of 10cd acquires a cogent and very plausible meaning if regarded in light of verse 11ab.