Sarasvati (texts & arch.II)

Paul K. Manansala kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Thu May 28 18:12:26 UTC 1998

 Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU>

> On Wed, 27 May 1998, Paul K. Manansala wrote:
> > However, even in the RV  Vasistha's culture does not seem particularly
> > IE.
> IE ???? Long ago, RV = IA language & culture ...

Sorry, that should be Iranian rather than IE.

> V's poetry is in typical IA < IIr < IE style, and so is his
> religion/ritual.

Doesn't Vasistha make a sacrifice to Vishnu in Chap. VII?  Vishnu is
possibly an aboriginal god with a Dravidian name. I don't see
anything particularly different between V's style/ritual and the
rest of the RV.

> > The RV (II 5-3-7) states that the priests of the Saudasas were
> > Angirasas, and Vasistha was the priest of Sudas.
> Fine, but not all RV poets/priests are Aangirasa, e.g. the Kanva-s. And V.

The divine birth of V together with Agastya in a pot is said by some
to indicate aboriginal origin.  Such devices were often used to
explain divine births as in the case of the birth of the Pandavas,
who all had the same mother but different divine fathers.  I think
that the later association of V with Eastern India cannot be ignored.

> > > Or do you also doubt that the Epics/Puranas are *late* texts compared to
> > > the Vedas?  ---  (Love to see the proof!)
> > Well, according to tradition, Krishna Dvaipayana compiled both at the
> > same time.  Also, the Puranas are at least attempts at historical
> > writing.  One can't say the same thing about the Vedas.
> According to J-Chr. tradition the world is just 6000 years old. And the
> Bible is at least an attempt etc. etc.
> About the Vedas: their AIM is different but they contain, must I repeat,
> CONTEMPORARY data of politics & society.

But the question is do they contain material that is not
contemporary.  Is there interpolation, and how many different
variants did KD have to sort through.  What did traditions did he use
to sort the good from the bad?  Finally what periods are the Vedas
contemporary to?

> J. Joyce (Ireland) is  younger than Shakespeare (England). Therefore J.'s
> ancestors have invaded/immigrated from S. England???  Don't think so.

Yes, but most of the specialists use the age of the language to date
the Rgveda!  I was only using the prevailing logic.  As far as I'm
concerned the RV could have been written around ~500 BCE rather than
~1500 BCE.

> > > On reading any Avesta
> > > section in the original you would see that it does not contain anything
> > > (linguistically) that could have come out of India. No Indian words, no
> > > Indian ideas, no Harappan items etc.
> > I would strongly disagree with this statement, but the argument
> > against it could get long and complicated.
> Love to hear it. ANY Indian words, of Dravidian, Munda, nay even
> Burushaski origin in Avesta ???? If not, silence is appropriate.

Not a question of whether they exist, but whether the Eurocentric
mindset will accept.

> > Wrong.  The onus is on you to prove IE identification. Since we are
> > talking mainly about language, I would love to hear of something more
> > than a horse burial which was very common among *non-IE* peoples.
> Just don't get it. Dadhyanc is a RV myth, not a *non-IE* horse burial.
> That's why I chose him, not any old horse burial. Unfortunately he can't
> *speak* to us.

But horse burial is common.  A single burial with a horse's head just
doesn't get it.  Maybe that was all that was left of the poor
fellow's horse after a battle.  Or maybe it was just a local

But I'm confused.  You're referring now to RV culture rather than IE?
Why would we find an RV burial in the Urals so early?

Paul Kekai Manansala

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