Rig Veda, ta'ntra, nUl, and sUtra

Palaniappa at aol.com Palaniappa at aol.com
Mon Apr 14 01:41:29 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-04-13 19:53:42 EDT, you write:

<< By the way, would anyone care to contest Monier-Williams's analysis of
 UrNavAbhi, wherein -vAbhi is "from an obsolete root vabh- [= Grk. hyphainO,
 Old High Germ. web-an, "to weave"]?  I myself cannot find any discussion of
 this in the literature available to me.  Does anyone with easy access to
 Wackernagel-Debrunner care to look it up? >>

See Old Indian by Jan Gonda, pp. 174. 

" Irregular or semantically obscure forms were also in Old Indian replaced by
new forms of more normal structure and intelligible semantic content,
although the latter were apt to be overdone: the oldest form for "spider" is
in all probability UrNa-va'bhi- "the she-weaver of wool"; when however the
second member of this compound became un intelligible - the root vabh-had
fallen into disuse-it was replaced by nA'bhi- "navel", the name of the spider
becoming UrNanAbha- "having wool on the navel" and hence tantunAbha-
"emitting threads from its navel". 

 UrNanAbhi and tantunAbha are attested in the upanishads.


S. Palaniappan

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