Myth and Reality [Was River Sarasvati: Atomic scientists reconfirm location]

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Thu Mar 9 08:37:00 UTC 2000

Dominik Wujastyk <ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK> wrote:
> I'm afraid that I neither trust nor believe anything said by atomic
> scientists about humanistic subjects (or most other subjects).  Let's try >
to keep this list scholarly, shall we!

Scholarly? Methinks, Indology, though a private mailing list, has not yet
become the monopoly for scholarship...

Main Entry: schol�ar�ly
Pronunciation: -lE
Function: adjective
Date: 1638
: of, characteristic of, or suitable to learned persons 
(Webster's Online Dictionary)

"Aredvi_ su_ra_ ana_hita_...The original name of the Indo-Iranian
goddess, he (Lommel) suggested, was Sarasvati_ 'She who possesses
waters'. In India she continued to be worshipped by this name, which she
gave there to a small but very holy river in Madhyades'a (the Punjab);
whereas in Iran Sarasvati_ became, by normal sound changes,
*Harahvati_, a name preserved in the region called in Avestan\
Harakhvaiti_, and known to the Greeks as Arachosia-- a region
rich in rivers and lakes. (Old Persian Harahuvati_, see Bartholomae,
Air.Wb.1788). Originally, *Harahvati_ was the personification of the
great mythical river which flows down from high Hara_ into the
sea Vourukas'a, and is the source of all the waters of the world...
*Harahvati_'s own name came to be eclipsed by her attributes
aredvi_ and su_ra_, which in later times coalesced to give her
the new name of Ardvi_ (moist, humid) su_ra_ (strong, mighty)...The Avestan
hymn to Aredvi_ su_ra_ is one
of the longest and apparently most ancient of the yas'ts...Like the
Indian Sarasvati_, she nurtures crops and herds...Aredvi_ also bestows
rich material possessions--horses and chariots, arms and house-hold
goods (Yt. 5.130)." (Mary Boyce, 1989, A History of Zoroastrianism, pp.71-2)

Sarasvati_ was also called vais'ambha_lya_...

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman
kalyan97 at

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