Etymology of the words 'vedi' in ritual context

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Jun 26 14:33:46 UTC 2000

See M.  Mayrhofer's new Etymologisches  Woerterbuch des Altindoarischen,
Heidelberg 1996- vol II, p. 581 :  ~~ veda'  bunch of grass... ; veda'  =
unclear < IE *wei(H)d- ? Pashto  wula 'root fibre, twifg'?   etc etc.

>The Sanskrit word 'vedi' in ritual context (as found in for example
>the zulbasUtras) means a raised area on which a sacrifice is
>performed.  As the word seems to be derived from the root /vid 'to
>know', how did it come to denote a sacrificial area?  Is there any
>etymologi to explain this?
Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

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