sarasvatI (etymology)

S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jun 1 14:53:07 UTC 1998

---Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:

[snip]> sarit.  Indo-Ir *sal 'salt' is seen in Uralic (Ob-Ugrian) sala
'salt)> (what about maru 'desert'??).[snip]

In Tamil, marutam means a fertile plain. (Maybe, muddy but fertile
'bog'?) The earth formations are explained in another lexeme: 'pa_lai'
is explained as: marutam tirintu pa_lai (i.e. fertile plain
transformed into a semi-arid zone).

>[snip] After all, we know where Avestan Haraxuuaitii > (Arachosia)
is and always has been: SW Afghanistan.  In The Rgveda we > have only
one or two Sarasvatis, barring the mythological ramifications
> (BEI 2,1984). [snip]

Is the reference to SW Afghanistan Haraquaiti which is a tributary of
kubha (which is a tributary of the Sindhu)? There is no 'maru' nearby.
There is also no association with or apaya_.

Re: the association  of *sal- with 'salt' (semant.): In Pachbhadra
(south of Jodhpur) there is a vast chasm from which Vasis.t.ha
reportedly rescued the cow nandini. This area supports a large-sized
salt industry on the banks of lavan.avati_ (Luni). In Paleogeography,
the Luni is also shown as linked with Chambal. The eggression and
recession of the tethis sea is used to explain also the existence of
sea-fossils in Jaisalmer.

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