Dates of written Rgveda

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Tue Mar 14 21:30:02 UTC 2000

On Sat, 11 Mar 2000, Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:

> We also know *what* has been changed since the time of collection
> (samhitaa) : they are a few, clearly visible phonetic developments, due
> to historical development, (Cuv > Cv, etc.) and a few 'strange',
> schoolmaster type changes, --- we would say "in orthography" --- but is
> was, at that time of course, orthoepic diaskeuasis.

In this regard, the following may be of interest:

 "Sunassepa is credited with the composition of 100 rks. in the I Mandala.
  But we have only 97 rks. of his there and the rest are found distributed
  between iv (two rks.: tvaM no agne varuNasya (iv.1.4) and v.2.7
  (shunashchichchhepaM ***).  Madhva contends that these were originally
  in I Mandala.  In mA nastenebhyo (ii.23.16) there is a gap
  UnatA dR^ishyate.arthataH | which is supplied by Madhva in his
  B.S.B. iii.4.49."

  Sharma, B.N.K., `History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta', 2d. ed.
  Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1981, p. 182.

If these errors, which are clearly not phonetic or orthographic, were not
due to scribes, then we must say that the oral transmission was at times
only 97% accurate.


Shrisha Rao

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