S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jun 5 21:16:00 UTC 1998

---Vidhyanath Rao <vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU> wrote:
> Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote [Context: Chariots
arguments]: [snip]

>We cannot know perfectly. [...] However, this is nothing unusual. We
> >cannot, I think, reconstruct the IE small finger. That does not
mean > >that IEs had only 4 fingers... (and, I think, there is a
Proto-Drav. > >peacock feather, but .... no peacock)

I am just picking up one side issue from this larger debate on
chariots and horses. It is about the peacock. I do not know if the
etyma are settled, IA, Drav., Austro-as.

ma_ra_ peacock (<Savara)(Morgenstierne; Przyluski)
maru_ka peacock (<Bloch); med.u, melu (Kui); mellu (Kuwi)(DEDR 4642).
See also n~amali, naviram (Tamil); namili (Telugu)(DEDR 2902).

But, see cmpds. in RV: mayu_ri_ peahen; mo_ra peacock (Pali); mho_ru
(Kon:kan.i); mo_rachal fan of peacock's feathers (Ka_s.mi_ri)[Bailey
links IA lexemes with: mura_sa (Khotanese) with orig. Indo-Iranian
color word].

The habitat is quitessential Sarasvati River zone and areas of
Kris.n.a lore.

Even today, we can find the pheasants, peahens and peacocks roaming
freely along the white lotus ponds along the Sarasvati nadi_ from
Thanes'war to Pehoa, uttering their musical shrieks, ji_va-ji_va.

A note on the pheasant species: For further zoological notes, and
other URL links, please visit:

Himalayan Monal Pheasant
(Lophophorus impeyanus)

Commonly called the Impeyan after Lady Impey who first kept them in
captivity, the Himalayan Monal is the most commonly seen species of
the genus Lophophorus. As the name suggests, this majestic pheasant is
native to the Himalayas, from eastern Afghanistan to western China.

The males are adorned with beautiful metallic colors of green, purple,
red and blue; they also have a large white patch on the rump. The
breast and underparts are black and the tail is copper. The males also
have a very long crest, much like a peacock.

Association of the peacock with Sarasvati in sculpture is another
story. For those interested in tourist spots, there is in Kuruks.etra
on the GT Road a Sarasvati udya_n popular with the students. RV hymn:
ambitame_ nadi_tame devitame Sarasvati_ is enshrined here.


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