Dating the Veda: Using the Horse and Planets

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Wed Jan 19 10:09:58 UTC 2000

Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> > Do languages of NW (including Gujarat, Sindh) reliably distinguish
> >between the >ass/donkey (Equus asinus) and the hemione (E heminous),
subspecies Khur?
> >[Sanskrit doen't seem to.]
> Of course it does...

Vedic doesn't seem to distinguish so finely, using as'va as a generic term to
connote the equus family...

Here is a quote from Rigveda Khilasukta 1.5 (Bhandarkar Oriental Series No.
27, 1995 by Usha R. Bhise; this work also validates my interpretation of soma
as electrum, cikli_ta son of s'ri_; on this later):

va_sa_tyau citrau jagato nidha_nau dya_va_bhu_mi_ s'r.n.utam rodasi_m me
ta_vas'vina_ ra_sabha_s'va_ havam me s'ubhaspati_ a_gatam su_ryaya_m saha

Trans. As'vina_ having shining equus are the wonderful treasures of the world.
O Heaven and Earth, please listen (to me), Rodasi_ (listen to me). Those
As'vins have braying-equus. O lords of beauty attend to my call along with

Many more such instances can be cited.

Methinks, this verse substantiates, as rightly surmised by Dr. Vidyanatha Rao,
the use of the word as'va as a generic term which can be qualified as the
poetics demand, to connote a hemione or asinus or caballus...


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