tArakAmaya again

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EASTEUR-ORIENT.UIO.NO
Wed Dec 17 18:50:02 UTC 1997

>At Wed, 17 Dec 1997 16:24:21, Sarma writes:
>Vettam Mani does not seem to follow BhAgavatapurAnA also because it clearly
>mentions that a battle has taken place, as given below.
......................(I omit parts of the quotation)
>surAsurvinAzObhUt samarastArakAmayah.      7
>                        bhAgavatapurANa 9.14.5-7

To sum up what we up to now have arrived at:

The purANas know of two tArakAmaya- battles, one fought by the gods headed
by Skanda against the asuras headed by the demon TAraka, and one between
the majority of the gods headed by Rudra against Soma (who is supported by
Zukra and the asuras), because the latter refused to return TArA to her
husband BRhaspati (who is not depicted as a participant of the battle - or
am I wrong?). Which of the two stories is older, is hard to say. The
Mahabharata knows more about the Skanda-TAraka story, but that does not
necessarily mean that this is older. As Kirfel's investigation shows, the
TArA myth may have a very ancient astral-mythological background.

As to the analysis of the term tArakAmaya, a component kAma- would not fit
its application (rather old, because well attested in the Mahabharata) to
the Skanda-TAraka story. Moreover, the short -a- would need an extra
explanation. On the other hand, Amaya, 'destruction', from A+mI, would give
a meaning that fits both stories. That is why I, for the time being, prefer
to keep to it. Have I forgotten any relevant argument?


        Georg v.Simson

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