Sarasvati: sa_gara, samudra; 'cults' and meanings

S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Thu May 28 16:41:28 UTC 1998

---Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> *sagara* is already found in RV: 10.89.4. But it has somehow escaped
> Monier Williams. I did not check the PW, maybe it is already missing
> there.  In short: don't simply trust "the dictionaries".
> RV 10.089.04a  indrAya giro anizitasargA apaH prerayaM sagarasya
budhnAt |
> Isn't it strange that the waters come from the depth of the ocean?
>  (for those who like natural science. Of course there are passages
in the > post-RVic YV texts where the clouds are are said t rise form
the ocean...
> Then Yajurveda, Manu, Epic, etc.
> But : sAgara in Manu etc.
> > In Sindhi and Bengali, the lexeme means both an ocean and a > >
river/lake. There is of course the tradition of > > the ocean dug up
by Sagara.

How fascinating! Simply trust the linguists. Or, just believe the
inscriptions of the civilization on copper tablets and other media, if
only linguists can 'read' them and also explain the artha...

Were samudra and sa_gara synonyms in RV? Did the lexemes (thanks for
small mercies, there were no lexicographers then!)just connote broad
expanses of water (salty or fresh, stagnant or flowing)?

On another note, see how archaeologists can do better than the
lexicographers? Sir John Marshall uses the term 'cult object' and
every analyst thereafter gets trapped in the lead. The only 'cult'
evidence we seem to find is the emergence and stabilisation of a
bronze-age culture, apart from burnt bricks.

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