sarasvati: etymology question

S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 24 19:07:33 UTC 1998

Here are some comments which members may like to discuss further.

1) The following terms refer to the juniper:
serec (Kt.); saras, sa_ras (Dm.); sa_ras (Kal.); saru_s (Kho.)

There is a semantic link with rasa juicy in the following etyma:
sarsa_i_ moisture (H.); sarasa juicy (Pkt.)

2)The semantic link between a pond and a fountain is intriguing
(subject of course to the acceptability of the phonetic transform
sur fountain (Kt.Ash.); sur, su_ru (Pr.); sar pool (Dm.); sara lake,
pond (Pali.Pkt.)

3)Note also the tradition which associates Sarasvati river with gold
(pannier gold?). rasava_tam in Tamil connotes alchemy.

In sum, is it reasonable to suggest that the term, 'sarasvati' and the
semant. connoting 'juicy' or 'juniper' and 'mountainous terrain', can
be clustered with:

(a) curra_ sweet juice from the new leaves of sa_l tree (Kur.); cure
gum (Malt.); cuna juice (Ma.); cun-ai mountain pool of spring, tan,
reservoir; cun-aivu rock water (Ta.); and

(b)curam ghaut (Ma.)

In sum, is it unreasonable to suggest that sarasvati is associated
more with juniper with its habitat in NW India and Himalayan flora
than with sara = pool?


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