Dating the Veda: Using the Horse and Planets

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Wed Jan 19 10:09:58 EST 2000


Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> > Do languages of NW (including Gujarat, Sindh) reliably distinguish
> >between the >ass/donkey (Equus asinus) and the hemione (E heminous),
subspecies Khur?
> >[Sanskrit doen't seem to.]
> 
> Of course it does...

Vedic doesn't seem to distinguish so finely, using as'va as a generic term to
connote the equus family...

Here is a quote from Rigveda Khilasukta 1.5 (Bhandarkar Oriental Series No.
27, 1995 by Usha R. Bhise; this work also validates my interpretation of soma
as electrum, cikli_ta son of s'ri_; on this later):

va_sa_tyau citrau jagato nidha_nau dya_va_bhu_mi_ s'r.n.utam rodasi_m me
ta_vas'vina_ ra_sabha_s'va_ havam me s'ubhaspati_ a_gatam su_ryaya_m saha

Trans. As'vina_ having shining equus are the wonderful treasures of the world.
O Heaven and Earth, please listen (to me), Rodasi_ (listen to me). Those
As'vins have braying-equus. O lords of beauty attend to my call along with
Su_rya_.

Many more such instances can be cited.

Methinks, this verse substantiates, as rightly surmised by Dr. Vidyanatha Rao,
the use of the word as'va as a generic term which can be qualified as the
poetics demand, to connote a hemione or asinus or caballus...

Regards,
Kalyanaraman


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