tArakAmaya again

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EASTEUR-ORIENT.UIO.NO
Mon Dec 15 12:44:09 UTC 1997

Dominique Tillaud asks:
>PS: from a time, there is no more criticism about the original form
>tAra-kAmayoH (in tArA's context). Are Prs.Yaroslav Vassilkov and Georg von
>Simson convinced ?

No, I am not convinced, for the following reasons: 1. The short -a- of tAra
is not explained. If you accept the compound tAra-kåma-, you can no longer
presume a delocution (which any way did not convince me in your first
explanation), can you? -  2. There does not seem to have been any fight
between the two lovers of TArA, Brhaspati and Candra, at all. I do not know
all the Puranic versions of the myth, but should like to refer to Vettam
Mani, Puranic Encyclopaedia (Delhi 1975), p. 786, s.v. TArA II: "... The
Devas were very angry when they found the wife of their preceptor staying
with a disciple of his. Brhaspati sent word to her to return home, but she
did not heed. At last the Devas decided to fight against Candra. Then they
came to a compromise and TArA was sent back to Brhaspati. ..."
I am convinced that Yaroslav Vassilkov has found the correct explanation:
saNgråma- tArakAmaya- was first used in the formalaic epic style with
reference to the great battle of the devas (who were under the leadership
of Siva's son Skanda) against the demon Tåraka. Later on it was (because of
a confusion between Tåraka and TArA/TArakA) transferred to the story of
TArA, Brhaspati and Candra. Maybe the term was then re-interpreted, instead
of tAraka+Amaya it may now have been understood as tArakA+maya or even as
tAra+kAma. The varia lectio in the Mbh. tArakAmayoH points into this
direction, I agree, but it is not enough to show that this was the origin
of the compound.

        Georg von Simson

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