Rigveda: dravidian word vr.tra

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Fri May 14 22:29:23 UTC 1999

Methodology: general semantics

vr.tra is a term used repeatedly in the R.gveda in the context of Indra's
exploits. The general import of the compound lexeme semant. is: enveloping,
mountain or stone. [Indra breaks it (him) asunder and releases  the waters].

tarukku = to break (Tamil); tar-upu = an artificial diamond (Telugu); tar_umpu
= dam to stop a stream (Tamil)

i'ira = gravel; vir'a, wirha_ = earth, soil (Kuwi); vira, vira'a = earth, soil

viri = spread out (Tamil) are-viri = half-opened (Kannada); ara-viri id.
(Telugu); biri = to burst open, rent asunder, expand (Kannada); vira_ = to
fall down, collapse (house)(Mand.a); berrna_ (birrya_) = to get out of shape
by expanding sidewise as a mud wall (Kurux)

If vr.tra is an a_pri representation, it would be a reasonable hypothesis that
Indra (indha, burning ember) breaks asunder the ores (rocks) in the process of
metallurgical extraction...

>From Cologne Skt. lex.
1 mf(%{A})n. ( %{trai} Pa1n2. 3-2 , 3) ifc. `" protecting "' see %{aMsa-} ,
%{aGguli-} , %{Atapa-} , %{kaTi-} , %{giri-} , %{go-} , %{tanu-} , %{tala-} ,
%{tvak-} , %{vadha-} ; %{kRta-} and %{jala-trA}. 

m. (only once in TS.) or n. (mostly in pl.) `" coverer , investor , restrainer
"' , an enemy , foe , hostile host RV. TS. ; m. N. of the Vedic
personification of an imaginary malignant influence or demon of darkness and
drought(supposed to take possession of the clouds , causing them to obstruct
the clearness of the sky and keep back the waters ; Indra is represented as
battling with this evil influence in the pent up clouds poetically pictured as
mountains or castles which are shattered by his thunderbolt and made to open
their receptacles [cf. esp. RV. i ,        31] ; as a Da1nava , Vr2itra is a
son of Tvasht2r2i , or of Danu q.v. , and is often identified with Ahi , the
serpent of the sky , and associated with other evil spirits , such as S3ushn2a
, Namuci , Pipru , S3ambara , Uran2a , whose malignant influences are
generally exercised in producing darkness or drought) RV. &c. &c. ; a
thunder-cloud RV. iv , 10 , 5 (cf. Naigh. i , 10) ; darkness L. ; a wheel L. ;
a mountain L. ; N. of a partic. mountain L. ; a stone Ka1tyS3r. Sch. ; N. of
Indra(?) L. ; n. wealth (= %{dhana}) L. (v.l. %{vitta}) ; sound , noise (=
%{dhvani}) L.

Comments are welcome.

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