Gentoo studies (details on SR)

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Jun 2 03:20:52 UTC 1999

Since I am leaving town (for quite a while) a brief reply, or if you like,
a parting shot:

1. Shrisha Rao has treated us, after laboring through the weekend,  to a 11
K, not always correct description of philological procedure, but he has not
*implemented* its principles in his discussion of  RV  nitya.

2. He has *not* checked the 36-odd occurences of nitya in the Rgveda and he
has not shown that it does mean 'eternal', in all cases.  Proof is lacking
so far.

3. He has not even *translated* the verse snippet `vAchA virUpa nityayA'
(RV 8.75.6)
 (not to speak of the  whole Rc!!), so that his opinion, e.g. of virUpa,
remains totally opaque.

Without translation (or  detailed Skt. commentary)  no clear understanding.

Otherwise, one can proceed, as for example S.P.Gupta has done (The
Indus-Sarasvati Civilization, Delhi 1996), and print pages and pages
(p.164-174) of RV quotations  without translation and thus "prove" anything
one wants;

[[in SPG's case:  Vedic  international sea trade, industry, town
civilization, etc:
<< pp.164 ff. headings:  : mineral resources of the Vedic merchants, trade
and commerce, navigation, islands and bases in islands, references of
industry, [and --was there a need? --] horses in the Vedas [here only 10
qotes!]  >> ]]

4. All other points have been left *unsanwered* by SR.  Even according to
his own ideal of 'logical' vivADa, rather unsatisfactory.

Final Grade: "topic not dealt with in any detail",  therefore "F" , or
equivalent low percentage (in the Indian system).

At 22:37 -0500 5/31/99, Shrisha Rao wrote:

[...all deleted, as not relevant to topic of discussion of meaning of the
verse in question...]

>Lastly, `vAchA virUpa nityayA' is not the only Vedic statement of
>relevance in this context; others have been cited as well where the
>meaning of `nitya' is not even called into question because it is not
>used.  It is obvious to me that the rejection of the notion that the
>concept of apaurushheyatva is of Vedic origin, is not based on deep
>understanding of the concept itself, nor of the Vedas, but is only an ad
>hoc back-formation of arguments intended to justify a preconception.

Michael Witzel                          Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies
Harvard University        
my direct line (also for messages) :  617- 496 2990
home page:

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