Early excommunications from / inclusions into vedic ...

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Wed Jul 1 18:05:56 UTC 1998

Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> Or is he including the Munda and Dravida by this very scheme?
> I think rather the latter. [...]
> But they first have to acquire the status of being Aarya at all, somehow.
> And that is precisely what this neat little tale does here.
> (f) thus they are "in" and 'out' at the same time and can be (re)taken
> into the fold as the opportunity presents itself. We have dozens of
> examples of this actually taking place, from then on until present times.

Should we really expect ancient/medieval Indians to know the difference
between considering Kambojas/Sakas etc to be `fallen Aryans' and
considering Andhras, Pulindas etc. to be such.

If my memory serves me right, Manusmrti lists Yavanas, Sakas, Dravidas
etc as `vraatyas'. For the writer at least, all these groups had the
same status: Possessing political power, and worth coopting.
In this respect, I agree with you on (f) above. I just think that all
the different cases of this kind of writing are motivated by the
same idea.


> > Incidentally, the translation of `go' as `cow' in all contexts adds to
> > the clouding of the issue. When I see ``ayam gau.h'' translated as
> > ``this is a cow'',...
> Well, we don't do that: Gaur bahIkaH.
> But "iyam gauH"  means, at least in Vedic,
> "the cow is this one (i.e. the earth)".

Off hand I cannot remember where all I have seen such translations.
One place I remember is subhramanya Sanstri's ``Lectures on Mahabhashya''.

Anyway, I just wanted to underline the mistake of beef = meat from cow.


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list