Graha epithets (tAra and tArakA)

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YAVASS.USR.PU.RU
Sun Dec 7 18:37:36 UTC 1997

On Dec.6 Dominique Thillaud wrote:

<1) are other attestations of -kA used with Goddess's names ? I don't found
<any *durgakA, *laksSmikA, *srikA, &c. And reNukA is so named because she is
<the DAUGHTER of reNu, ambikA and ambalikA are SISTERS of ambA.

        I think, this question has been answered already by M.Gansen and
J.Tatelman with their references to rAdhA-rAdhikA and kAlI-kAlikA. Not less
important, as it seems to me, is the fact that the NOUNS, corresponding to
both names,i.e., tArA and tArakA, both meaning "star", are synonymous (see
tArakA- in the compound tArakArAja 'King of the Stars', 'the Moon').

<3) in the same MMW, kAmayA is given as a formula 'for the love'.
 <       Hence, it's not strictly impossible that tArakA would be born from
<a false cut of a *tAra-kAmaya-yuddha 'the fight for the love of tArA'.
<Going further would need a fine study of the texts (is the word 'kAma' used
<significatively in some versions of the story ?) but the Sarma's remark was
<perhaps not so stupid ;-)

        To begin with, kAmayA, acc. to MMW, is an indeclinable word which does
not appear in any compound and, after all, as MMW remarks, it is
"OMLY USED WITH brUhi AND pra-brUhi".
        On the other hand, the compound meaning "the fight for the love of
tArA" would look like *tArA-kAmayA-yuddha (not *tAra-kAmaya-yuddha). To
make the false cut of the compound, an ancient Indian singer of tales had
to make the double mistake, taking two long vowels for two short ones, which
I doubt that he did. So the suggestion made by Dominique Thillaud, though
witty and tempting, is, I am afraid, not valid.
        With my best wishes to all
                                        Yaroslav V.Vassilkov

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