Etymology of the words 'vedi' in ritual context

H.B.Dave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Tue Jun 27 07:06:53 UTC 2000

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen wrote:

> Dear list members,
> 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?

You are right. The word vedi has relationship to the verb "to know".
Kindly look up RV I-164-39, read with I-164-35 and contemplate what do
those mantras say.
I do not think the etymology given by Dr. Witzel  (from veda  = grass)
applies to the word vedi as used in rituals. "barhi" has entirely
different meaning from "sacred grass".
-- Himanshu

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