RV 8.43.11 and beef-eating and metallurgy

Kalyanaraman mdsaaa48 at giasmd01.vsnl.net.in
Wed Feb 26 00:01:59 UTC 1997

vazAnna and ukSAnna may literally mean 'cow as food' , 'bull as food'.
Is it also possible that there is a meaning beyond the 'literaral'?
The finds of bones of antlers etc. in Kalibangan 'fire altars' may
relate to the work of a metallurgist? (cf. http://www.investindia.com/
webzine4/Discov1.html webpages on Kalibangan and Banawali finds of altars etc.). 
Using bones and the fat as reducing agents to
oxidize impurities or base metals in a quartz ore?

At 02:27 PM 2/25/97 GMT, you wrote:
>Thompson has replied at length to my posting on ukSAnna and vaZAnna. He appears
>to be right when he says:
>>But first a simple distinction has to be made: the term for 'cow' here is
>>not go' but rather vazA', which, as was mentioned in a previous post, is
>>now understood to mean "non-pregnant cow".  The traditional gloss has been
>>"sterile, barren," but Falk has shown that it can also refer to cows that
>>have not yet borne a calf.  In any case, this precludes the possibility
>>that this passage refers to Soma and *milk*, since the vazA' cow does not
>>give milk [and therefore is, in fact, a prime candidate for sacrifice, and
>Perhaps I may refer to AtharvaVeda 10.10, a long sukta dedicated to
>to the vaZA cow(rsi:kaSyapa):
>In the very first stanza it is declared
>" namaste .......aghnye te namaha" (AV 10.10.1)
>The vaZA cow is a special cow , and it is inviolable.
>Far from not giving milk,
>"vaZAm sahasradhArAm..........AvadAmasi" (AV 10.10.4)
>we praise the vaZA cow which gives milk in a thousand streams..
>"Zatam kamsAha Zatam dogdhArAha zatam goptAro..." (AV 10.10.5)
>for the vaZA cow, a hundred keepers and a hundred milkers stand ready with a
>hundred milk vessels.. (pardon my mistakes in transliteration, I forgot the
> Harvard scheme).
>"vaZAya dugdhamapibatsAdhyAha...."(AV 10.10.30)
>The sAdhyAs and...... drink in yajna the milk which the vaZA yields.
>Apparently, it has taken decades to convince some that vaZA does not mean
>sterile, barren. It may take even more time to convince that vaZA yields milk,,
>and that it is a special cow. Very few people are blessed with the possession
>of such a cow. But to say that it is a prime candidate for sacrifice and food
>is to deny what the veda itself declares:vaZA is aghnyA, it yields copious
>milk, it does get pregnant(yes; AV10.10.23), but people are frightened when
>this happens. The vaZA cow loves those who offer its products in yajna.
>Hats off to Thompson when he says:
>>The reason that I am able to be continually interested in the RV, in spite
>>of no monetary, academic, political or spiritual rewards [i.e., no instant
>>enlightenment concerning otherwise inaccessible levels of consciousness],
>>is that it displays a richness of language and thought that is more complex
>>than is generally appreciated. I just happen to appreciate such things.
>And then Thompson says:
>>To return specifically to RV 8.43.11: let us look at what is said there,
>>and in the hymn in general.  As Beatrice Reusch nicely points out, Agni is
>>characterized as *eating* many things in this hymn. In fact, he [or "it" --
>>if we are meant to think of a fire rather than a god] is voracious, and
>>ultimately perhaps omnivorous.  
>>By the way, I'm not *on principle* against symbolic interpretations; I just
>>am suspicious when they abandon their ties to the literal.
>But, ukSA=soma is literal and "vaZAyAstat priyam yaddevatrA havih syAt"
>-Narahari Achar

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