[Re: Etymology of the words vedi in ritual context]

Jogesh Panda jogeshpanda at NETSCAPE.NET
Thu Jun 29 08:31:32 UTC 2000

In the expressions 'vedImadhyA' and 'vedIvilagnamadhyA' [MBh, SabhA, 58, 36;
Vana 261, 19 etc. etc.],'vedI' does not mean the shape of a fireplace on the
ground, but it has another, quite possibly an earlier, referent- that of a
bundle of kuza grass, tied in the middle in the shape of a Damaru- hence the
slender middle.

vedI [bundle of grass]probably comes from roots vA, vi,or ve, vAyati, vAyate
etc.[ How to explain the -d-. Defer to the Philologists, but do not exlain
from 'vid'. aho vata mahat kaSTaM. -d- An archaism perhaps? The rivernames
vetavatI, vetravatI and vedavatI are used interchsngeably, one humble
suggestion.] vedI also is a rivername in the MBh. 

'VedI' in the expression 'vedImadhyA' in later kAvya lit.does not always refer
to the bundle of kuza grass, but instead often refers to the female
genitalia[NaiSadhIyam,SubhASitas, and in medieval vernacular poetry], and has
an added suggestion of the phenomenon of kAmayajna etc.  

Jogesh Panda


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