Rig Veda, ta'ntra, nUl, and sUtra

thompson at jlc.net thompson at jlc.net
Mon Apr 14 01:44:08 UTC 1997

>> Well, let me put it this way.  If someone shows me something and says that
>> it is one of a kind, and then I find something else that is of the *same*
>> kind and show it to her, I have not merely shown that her argument is
>> *improbable*.  I have shown that it is wrong.  No?
>No, I don't think so.
>> In any case, I do not accept the premiss that there are no such
>> resemblances between Vedic and the rest of IE.  As far as I can tell S.
>> Palaniappan's argument depends on a false distinction between tan- "stretch
>> [a warp]" and the other roots that belong to the semantic sphere of weaving
>> [e.g., u-, ve-, "weave"; vRt- "turn, spin", sIv-, syU- "sew"].
>This is not a "false" distinction.  It is a semantic distinction.
>> 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?
>> One last note: I am willing to entertain S. Palaniappan's claim that there
>> is a historical connection of some kind between the Vedic and Dravidian
>> material.  But in order to consider the claim, for example, that the author
>> of RV 10,71 "was cleverly punning with the concept of 'panuval' since he
>> knew the two-fold meanings of Dravidian 'panuval' and its Indo-Aryan
>> equivalent 'ta'ntra'", I think I'd need more evidence.
>> Why?  Because there seems to be enough evidence, both from IE sources and
>> non-IE sources, to suggest that one could come up with the metaphor, speech
>> = weaving, independently of any knowledge of Dravidian.
>Sorry, I haven't seen this evidence for such a metaphor.
>> For example, I would consider demonstrable *quotation* of a Dravidian
>> source in Vedic compelling evidence indeed [no question!].
>Do you mean a Vedic quotation attributing the practice of
>weaving to the Asuras?
>Paul Kekai Manansala

I see a certain resemblance here between your philosophy and Nancy
Reagan's: "Just say no...."

Well, I guess it worked for her...

Best wishes,
George Thompson

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