Sarasvati (texts & arch.II)

Paul K. Manansala kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Sat May 23 16:48:37 UTC 1998

  Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU>

> Part II:
> (I wrote:)
> > >While RV 7.95.2 (cf. 7.6.7) indeed speaks of the Sarasvati flowing to
> > >the/an ocean, this is not unambiguous, due to the various meanings of
> > >samudra "ocean" or "confluence of rivers" (debated for more than 100 years
> > >RV  ...generally quite hyperbolic
> On Thu, 21 May 1998, Sn. Subrahmanya wrote:
> > A Sarasvati flowing into an ocean means a Sarasvati flowing into an ocean !
> Logically correct, but *first* someone has to do the philological study
> and show what samudra REALLY means (s. K. Klaus, Kosmographie 1986). I
> have alluded to the century old discussion.

Isn't it quite clear from linguistic tradition that samudra means
ocean.  Clearly it does not mean a regular lake or desert.  A very large
lake could be confused with the ocean, but do any of these rivers
empty into large lakes?

Also "north" is a very relative term.  There is a northern Indian
ocean adjacent to northern India and a southern one next to southern
India. We don't necessarily have to accept Tilak to explain the
northern samudra.

The least complex explanation for a river flowing from the mountains
to the ocean is the literal one since there are indeed such rivers in
modern and ancient India.

Paul Kekai Manansala

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