saras 2 (echo)

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Thu Jun 18 09:41:55 UTC 1998

Dear members,
        Many thanks for all this useful answers. I'll begin with some remarks.
        If we try to classify quickly the vAgnAmAni, we obtain few
categories (multiple appartenance allowed):
        The most numerous words are naturally linked to the speech,
directly (nivit), by the sound (vAzI, vANI, vANIcI, vANaH, mefiH, vagnuH,
upabdiH, mAyuH, ghoSaH, svaraH, zabdaH, svanaH, galdA, bekurA), the music
(dhamaniH, nAfI, vAnIcI), the organ (kAkut, jihvA), the poetical technic
(zlokaH, akSaram, anuSTup, suparNI), the prayer (Rk, hotra, gIH, gAthA,
svAhA, dhiSaNA, nauH), the epic 'immortal renown' (zlokaH, akSaram) or by
the generalization of epithets (gabhIrA, gambhIrA, mandrA, mandrAjanI,
dhiSaNA, valguH).
        Next, numerous Goddesses, some of Them naturally expected (IfA,
vANI, bhAratI, sarasvatI, mahI, vAk, suparnI), some less expected, probably
here by various identifications (gandharvI, gaurI, menA, sUryA, aditiH,
zacI) and two names perhaps generic (gnA, nanA).
        An unclear category could be linked to the missile weapons (vAzI,
paviH, meni, kazA, bekurA), the key perhaps given by suparNI if we refer to
the Homeric 'epea pteroenta' (*wekw-es-H2 *p(e)tH1ro-went-H2 *> vaca(aM)si
pattravanti), not 'winged words' as commonly translated but 'feathered
words' like an efficient arrow.
        The cow-metaphore is barely present (gauH, dhenA, dhenuH, aditiH),
perhaps gandharvI as daughter of surabhi, and the rain-metaphore just with
        Only two words remaind isolated, gaNaH and saraH, leaving open the
possibility they are in the same category ;-)
        Sure, that's just a quick lexicographic survey, with probably some
errors, and a fine contextual analysis should be necessary but we can find
interesting the lack of direct references to the river (dhenA being
secondary) or the soma (rasaH seems dubious), excluding apparently such
interpretations of saraH ..?
        Other later. Best regards,

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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