Fri Dec 19 17:42:00 UTC 1997

At 06:27 PM 12/19/97 +0300, you wrote:
>>From yavass Fri Dec 19 16:47:51 MSK 1997
>Dear colleagues,
>        here is what NIlakaNTha has to say on the problem of tArA=tArakA.
>Mbh, Crit.ed. III.166.24 = Bomb. ed. III. 169.24: munis sing praise to Arjuna
>with sweet voices, like they praised Indra tArakAmaye.
>        nIkakaNTHa comments: tArakAmaye tArArthe saMgrAme //
>Mbh, Crit.ed. II.22.16 = Bomb.ed. II.24.17: kRSNa is said to drive the
>which had been previously used by zakra and viSNu in the tArakAmaya [battle]
>        N.'s commentary: tArakAmaye tArakA tArA bRhaspatibhAryA
>sai'va Amayavat vinAzahetur yasmin Amayo rogaH //
>        This leaves, I think, no doubt that in the eyes of Mbh's most popular
>commentator, tArA and tArakA were synonims (as two names of the wife of
>bRhaspati) and that he considered the epithet tArakAmaya to consist of
>tArakA + Amaya.
>        Our discussion was long and very useful, at least for me. Is not it
>now the high time to stop and to realize that there is no simple,
>answer to the question "Are the names tArA and tArakA synonimous, or not?".
>The answer to it is complex. I would say that everyone of us is right in
>one's own way. D.V.N.Sarma demonstrated that the separate name of the Goddess
>is always tArA, and the form tArakA is always used only as a part of the
>compound. It was a strange fact which needed an explanation. Eventually this
>led us (first of all, Georg von Simson and me) to the conclusion that the
>epithet had been borrowed and transferred to the story of tArA from another
>myth. So, we partly agree with D.V.N.Sarma, accepting that tArA and tAraka
>(in "tArakAmaya") ORIGINALLY WERE NOT SYNONIMOUS. Most of the Mbh passages
>containing the word "tArakAmaya" (if not all of them) originally referred
>(in spite of nIlakaNTHa's interpretations) to the myth of the battle with
>asura tAraka. But in the late period of Epic's and PurANas' growth singers
>or compilers started to use the epithet tArakAmaya in association with
>tArA's name. Now tArA and tArakA WERE understood as SYNONIMS.
>This is evidenced by the VP passage where tArakAmaya is explained
>as "tArA-" or "tArakAnimitta", and by the above-quoted nIlakaNTHa's comments.
>As you can see, it was not easy for nIlakaNTHa to explain the meaning of
>"tArakAmaya"; after all, it still remained a "borrowed plume", a constant
>epithet misplaced.
>        And then, in the same late period, when the original meaning of the
>compound was long forgotten and the reinterpretation did not seem
>convincing for everyone, somebody suggested a new one: tArakAmayoH. I was
>particularly impressed by the fact that first D.V.N.Sarma had suggested the
>existence of such form theoretically, and then Dominique Thillaud had found
>this very reading in the Critical edition apparatus. There were surely some
>people in Ancient and Mediaeval India, who understood the meaning of the word
>this way too.
>         So, by our joint effort we managed to reconstruct the history of the
>epithet, to elucidate different, historically heterogeneous aspects of its
>meaning. Truth is always a complex thing, not simply "It is so, and it ever
>was so".
>        With my best wishes to the participants and all listmembers
>                                        Yaroslav V, Vassilkov

Thank you for all the nice things you have said about me. I hope you will
excuse me if I am not prepared to accept a laboured explanation ( in your
own words a "barrowed plume") in place of a simple one.



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